Rajiv Gandhi 'worked as middleman' in aircraft deal: WikiLeaks

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Vishwarupa, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Revelation contained in Kissinger-era documents obtained by WikiLeaks

    Much before he became Prime Minister, during his years as an Indian Airlines pilot, Rajiv Gandhi may have been a middleman for the Swedish company Saab-Scania, when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s.

    The astonishing revelation that he was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable, is contained in the Kissinger Cables, the latest tranche of U.S diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and accessed by The Hindu as part of an investigative collaboration. The cables will be released on Monday.

    The British SEPECAT Jaguar eventually won the race, from which Saab was forced to withdraw by the U.S.

    Rajiv Gandhi, who kept away from politics until he was pushed into it by his mother Indira after the death of his brother Sanjay in 1980, came into public life with a squeaky clean image. Years later, a controversy over bribes paid in another military deal with a different Swedish company, Bofors, was to lead to Rajiv’s and the Congress’s defeat in the 1989 elections.

    A series of 41 cables between 1974 and 1976 give glimpses into the “fighter sweepstakes” in India, with one wryly observing that the Swedish company had “understood the importance of family influences in the final decision in the fighter sweepstakes.”

    Dassault, the French aircraft maker, too had figured this out. According to the cable, their negotiator for the Mirage fighter aircraft was the son-in-law of Air Marshal O.P. Mehra, then Air Chief.

    An October 21, 1975 cable from the New Delhi U.S. Embassy (1975NEWDE14031_b, confidential) details information given to it by a diplomat in the Swedish Embassy. “Mrs Gandhi’s oler [sic] son’s only association with the aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as a pilot for Indian Airlines and this is the first time we have heard his name as entrepreneur.”

    Having noted what the Swedes had said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information.

    The cable goes on to say, “Mrs Gandhi (according to the Swedish info) has made the personal decision not to purchase the British Jaguar because of her prejudices against the British. The decision would be between the Mirage [Dassault Mirage F1] and the Viggen.”

    Importance of ‘family’

    In another cable (1976NEWDE01909_b, confidential), the Swedes also made it clear they “understood the importance of family influences” in the final decision. The cable adds: “Our colleague describes Ranjiv Gandhi [sic] in flattering terms, and contends his technical expertise is of a high level. This may or may not be. Offhand, we would have thought a transport pilot [is] not the best expert to rely upon in evaluating a fighter plane, but then we are speaking of a transport pilot who has another and perhaps more relevant qualification.”

    The first cable adds that Air Marshal Mehra’s son-in-law was the chief negotiator for the competing Mirage, but it does not give his name.

    Contacted in New Delhi, Navin Behl, the former Air Chief’s son-in-law, denied that he was ever involved in any such negotiations. “I was never an arms dealer. We’ve got nothing to do with it. I am a chartered accountant, [I was] practising then [in the 1970s], and now we're in the manufacture and export of home furnishings,” he told The Hindu.

    The Swedish diplomat quoted in this cable said his country’s neutral position in world politics was offsetting the Viggen’s higher cost. The cable also records the official’s “irritation at the way Mrs Gandhi is personally dominating negotiations, without [the] involvement of Indian Air Force officers. According to him, negotiations with the Swedes are for 50 Viggen aircraft to be delivered at $4-5 million per aircraft with the Swedes believing that the Indians have made the decision not to purchase any more Soviet military aircraft.”

    U.S. blocks deal

    But Sweden had to do an abrupt about turn with what appears to be a bit of arm-twisting, an August 6, 1976 cable (1976STOCKH04230_b, secret) titled “Saab-Scania requests for U.S. permission to export Viggen and license to India” appears to confirm this with a blunt message: “The USG, after careful consideration, has concluded that no version of the Viggen containing any classified U.S. components would be acceptable for transfer to India. It would also oppose any transfer to India, for local production, of the advanced U.S. technology represented in the Viggen’s aerodynamic design, engine and flying controls, navigation system, electronic components and weapons systems.”

    Another 1976 cable (1976STOCKH04231_b, secret) details the negative USG response to Saab-Scania president Curt Mileikowsky’s informal request for export of Viggen aircraft to India and licence to manufacture such aircraft to India. Senior Swedish officials have also emphasised “that [the] most important consideration to their government was preservation of cooperation with the U.S. on military R&D, which they recognised as vital to maintenance of a viable Swedish defence effort and that the sale of the Viggen to India was of secondary consideration to them in comparison with the value of military cooperation with the U.S.”

    Scramble for contract

    The earliest reference to the IAF upgrade plan is in a 1974 cable (1974LONDON00554_b, secret), which elaborates how the Indians had nearly completed negotiations for two Navy Corvettes and an unspecified number of Jaguar aircraft, though negotiations temporarily stalled because of the oil crisis.

    India, according to the FCO South Asian Department head, had “expressed desire for [a] modest alternative to the Soviets as an arms supply source, and had begun discussions with the British early last summer.” The British were smelling a deal “in the neighbourhood of 30-35 million pounds, probably only the first tranche of an ongoing program which could reach 100-120 million pounds over a period of time.”

    The Viggen pitch to India was of immense interest to the U.S. As one cable (1975STATE270066_b, secret) said, the aircraft “contains a large number of parts and components of U.S. origin which are therefore subject to USG control in third-party sales.”

    Jaguar, meanwhile, was aggressively in the hunt. A November 19, 1975 cable (1975NEWDE15350_b, confidential), said: “London has now decided to offer the Government Of India a more favorable financing arrangement, 71/4 percent over five years, than was earlier the case. The GOI has asked for two percent over 15 years, but the British tell us this is impossible. The GOI still wants 40 aircraft to be delivered within 36 months. The original British offer was 60 months, but they are now talking in terms of 40 odd months.” The cable ends by saying that the final decision was expected to be political and made by the Prime Minister.

    Another cable (1975PARIS33184_b confidential) details French concern that “Mrs Gandhi’s advance toward dictatorship is now irreversible, and that French Prime Minister Chirac was unhappy with the idea of appearing to condone this development through his official visit” but also nursed the hope that the visit would be able to improve sales prospects for the Mirage F-1.

    By the next year, the French Embassy is convinced (1976NEWDE00845_b, confidential) that it is Prime Minister [Indira] Gandhi alone who will make the final decision, and it will be on political grounds. The Swedes are also pushing their product. The French believed that the Swedes had dropped their price and offered to take rupees in payment. They were seen as moving towards delivering the first 24 to 36 aircraft to India, with the next aircraft being assembled in India under licence.

    Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says - The Hindu
     
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  3. mki

    mki Regular Member

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    This entier family is corrupt and dumb idiots keep voting them. the voter congis are equally dashdrohi as congis.....
     
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  4. nrupatunga

    nrupatunga Senior Member Senior Member

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    :yawn::yawn: yawn

    Nothing will happen.
     
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  5. Apollyon

    Apollyon Führer Senior Member

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    Rajiv Gandhi 'worked as middleman' in aircraft deal: WikiLeaks

    Mera Bharat Mahan :india::pound:
     
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  6. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Wikileaks Latest : Ravij gandhi an agent

    [video]http://www.firstpost.com/politics/from-bjp-to-cong-who-said-what-on-wikileaks-cable-on-rajiv-gandhi-689859.html[/video]
     
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Three threads merged.
     
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  8. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Triveni of treachery and sedition....
     
  9. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Then followed by Bofors. This explains the long & strong relation with Swedish defense companies.
     
  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I wonder if he bought the 'dalali' culture into Indian Arms industry. If so, then he has done a big disservice to this country.
     
  11. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    This family has a tradition of DALALI. Even before Ghyasuddin Ghazi became Gangadhar, He was in the biz of selling this nation to British and a traitor who helped them against the revolutionaries of 1857. Habbits die hard is a very old saying and true in case of this family. The Ghazi turned Gangadhar found refuge in a brothel called Ishrat Manzil in Allahabad after being hounded by revolutionaries of 1857. Ishrat in urdu means,"Pleasure" so Ishrat manzil means, "House of Pleasure". This place was situated in the red light area of Allahabad. There this man did the DALALI of women and kept records of the deals. His son also became a lawyer for this Brothel and infact married one the sex worker of this brothel from whom Chacha Rangila was born. Feroze was a bootlegger who supplied daaru to this brothel and arranged clients for a commission. Indira fell for him and married him. Chacha Rangila than bought over this pride of family history of Dalali and renamed it as,"Anand Bhavan". A litral translation of House of Pleasure.
    DALALI runs in the blood of this family and blood (DNA) traits never go away. The first ever weapon purchase DALALI was done by Chacha Rangila in the infamous JEEP purchase deal of 1948-49. After that, there has not been a single deal in which this family has not taken DALALI. It is said that even some Vadera has joined this brigade of DALALs. This family never does any deal without DALALI. What value can such family have for Motherland when only value for them is DALALI. They will sell their mother also happily provided the DALALI amount is good.
     
  12. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    100 mei se 99 beimaan :pound:
     
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  13. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    :shocked:

    :salute: This is revelation man. Let the country know. It is time get rid of these buggers they have already sucked lot of blood.
     
  14. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Some extremely interesting facts about this family of DALALs.

    Articles: Truths about the Nehru Dynasty
    Rajiv Gandhi was a born Muslim, Nehru and Indira Gandhi were Muslims, and were Babar Ki Oulad | Sulekha Creative
    NEHRU DIED OF TERTIARY SYPHILIS-AORTIC ANEURYSM

    And read this article to know how chacha Rangila got the name Jawaher.
    PANDIT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU. WHERE DID THE "BANDIT" COME FROM?

    How Motilal named his only son: It is very interesting to learn how Motilal chose his son's name. One morning, Motilal and Swarup Rani were on their way to the Ganges for the morning dip in the holy water. Swarup was heavy with her child. On the way, a Hindu sadhu (monk) saw them and he flew into a rage at the sight of the couple. Motilal approached the sadhu and asked what the problem was. The sadhu, quite angry, advised him to get an abortion done for, in the opinion of the sadhu, Motilal's wife was carrying a demon, one if allowed to live, will do untold harm to the country. He suggested even killing the mother by using poison or zaher (in Hindi). Then the sadhu left. Motilal returned to his wife who was quite perturbed. Swarup, being at a certain distance did not fully hear the conversation with the sadhu but was aware of the fact that the monk was somehow not happy at all. She did hear the word zaher meaning poison. Motilal hid the facts from Swarup and said that the sadhu was insistent on the child's name. When Swarup asked why was the sadhu talking about zaher, Motilal lied and told her that the sadhu wanted the child's name to be Jawahar (Hindi for Jewel) and not zaher, for it was going to be a baby boy. It was thus that the son's name was chosen to be Jawahar and Lal (from Motilal's own name).

    Koushal': Moti Lal Nehru, Jawahar Lal Nehru' past
     
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  15. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    It is sad he was given Bharat Ratana.
     
  16. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wikileaks: Rajiv Gandhi 'a middleman' for Sweden's Saab-Scania

    Wikileaks: Rajiv Gandhi 'a middleman' for Sweden's Saab-Scania

    Former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi may have been "a middleman" for Swedish company Saab-Scania when it was trying to sell fighter aircraft to Delhi in the 1970s, allege cables released by Wikileaks.

    Cables from the whistleblowing site claim he was the "main negotiator" for the Viggen fighter aircraft deal.

    He was not in politics at the time but was valued for his "family" connections as the son of the PM, they allege.

    Saab ultimately did not win the deal which went to Britain's SEPECAT Jaguar.

    On Monday, a spokesman for Saab told the BBC: "Since the information dates back to over three decades and it's based on conversations that really don't have any determinable basis, we can't comment on third party communication."

    Mr Gandhi was assassinated by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in 1991.

    India's ruling Congress party, to which Mr Gandhi belonged, has rejected the Wikileaks revelations.

    "The credibility of WikiLeaks is questionable... We don't give importance to the allegations and the cables," the party said.

    'Family influences'

    The Wikileaks claims are based on the Kissinger Cables, the latest tranche of US diplomatic cables obtained by the whistle-blower, reports The Hindu newspaper, Wikileaks' partner for India and Pakistan cables.

    It says a series of 41 cables between 1974 and 1976 give glimpses into the "fighter sweepstakes" in India, with one observing that the Swedish company had "understood the importance of family influences in the final decision in the fighter sweepstakes".

    "Our colleague describes Rajiv Gandhi in flattering terms, and contends his technical expertise is of a high level. This may or may not be," the cable reads.

    "Offhand, we would have thought a transport pilot [is] not the best expert to rely upon in evaluating a fighter plane, but then we are speaking of a transport pilot who has another and perhaps more relevant qualification."

    Members of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticised the Congress party over the Wikileaks allegations involving Mr Gandhi.

    In his lifetime too, Rajiv Gandhi had faced a controversy over alleged bribes paid by Swedish arms firm AB Bofors to clinch the sale of more than 400 howitzers to India.

    Last year, retired Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom, who led the probe into the Bofors scandal, said there was no evidence to prove that Mr Gandhi took a bribe, but that he did nothing to prevent a cover-up in the scandal.

    The scandal came to surface in 1986 and eventually led to Rajiv Gandhi's electoral defeat three years later.

    In 2004, he was posthumously cleared of any wrongdoing in the deal.
     
  17. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    well its more or less like a test for a member of their family for getting ready to lead the country:thumb:
    these revelations hardly have any importance or impact now except to show how monopoly works
     
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  18. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Rajiv Gandhi was 'negotiator' for Swedish jet firm: WikiLeaks

    Rajiv Gandhi was 'negotiator' for Swedish jet firm: WikiLeaks - The Times of India

    Interesting. A new round of corruption allegation on the Congress may be really bad for the govt.
     
  19. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ghandy family has been cancer on this country.
     
  20. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    we dont want communal force so we ignore this :finger:
     
  21. vram

    vram Regular Member

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    Also interesting on a related matter....is it really suprising that the H24 Marut was given a quite burial. We had such high placed people vouching for phoren firms no was was really interested in promoting Indigenous?
    Does any agree with me...after all wasn't the H24 time cycle also around these times??
     
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