New Delhi: BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Nishikant Dubey yesterday, during the zero hour in Parliament demanded fresh probe into the 1986 Bofors gun deal between India and Sweden, following Swedish investigator Sten Lindstrom’s recent interview with the Republic TV , where he revealed the alleged involvement of the then PM Rajiv Gandhi’s role in covering up the case 65 crore deal.
In an interview with the Swedish investigator Sten Lindstrom on July 23, Republic TV’s Chitra Subramaniam question him whether the “suggestion to take some money from Bofors for Sweden or the party came from Rajiv Gandhi”.
To that the Swedish investigator replied “It was suggested from him (Rajiv Gandhi) that Mr Palme (Olof Palme, then Swedish prime minister) would receive money for some purpose of his own. Whatever (purpose). And it was decided that 50 million Swedish Krona would go to this fund…I don’t exactly know if it…you know there have been funds before.”
To his another question about the money being paid back to Sweden, Lindstrom said: “No it hasn’t been made, but as you say, the suspicion…as in some way was done…”.
Back in 2012, the Swedish investigator in his interview was reported saying in “There was no evidence that (Rajiv Gandhi) had received any bribe. But he watched the massive cover-up in India and Sweden and did nothing. Many Indian institutions were tarred, innocent people were punished while the guilty got away.”
Ananth Kumar Parliamentary Affairs Minister too has expressed a fresh probe into the matter but said it is too early to comment on whether or not the Government will order an investigation into the alleged scam deal.
Commenting on the Lindstrom’s statement regarding the alleged scam deal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister said Lindstrom has spoken about a “huge amount of evidence” which he believes had been handed over to India and that the scam could be more than that of previously imagined.
The Minister said “He has said that the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was involved in this. There must be a thorough probe. The country should know a complete truth”.
“Public demand is that there should be an investigation. If the Congress wants probity in public life they should offer themselves for a thorough investigation and inquiry. Congress should not run away from an inquiry into a sensitive matter which involves the national security” the Minister added.
When asked about the same, a Union Minister told the media “We will let you know when we contemplate a probe.”
BJP’s MP Lekhi, said, “According to Lindstrom, the documents related to that discussion are still somewhere with the government. To say that it is an old case and should be forgotten is wrong because when old issues are not settled, their ghosts return to haunt”.
Nishikant Dubey, BJP MP too demanded that CBI should “open and re-investigate” the case. He alleges that the UPA Government had earlier denied the permission to CBI to probe into the matter.