Sonia Gandhi and the hidden trail

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by S.A.T.A, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sonia Gandhi and the hidden trail


    John MacLithon

    The Indian media has begun even doubting Manmohan Singh’s integrity — mental, at least — as he must have been knowing for nearly two years that the Indian exchequer was defrauded of `1.76 lakh crores. But so far, Sonia Gandhi has been spared.

    Yet, if you are an observer of Indian politics, as I have been, since I landed back in India in the early ’Sixties, you have to come to the conclusion that most of the funds of scams end up in the coffers of political parties, particularly of the Congress.

    Today the DMK is taking the brunt of the blame, but actually political parties have been forced to follow suit after the grand old party of India’s independence, began using percentages allotted by foreign companies on mega deals, military and otherwise, to secretly fund its election campaigns and give freebies to poor villagers. Of course, Bofors was the first one of the big scams to be uncovered.

    I remember in the mid-Eighties a Swiss radio colleague of mine from Radio Suisse Romande, telling me that Amitabh Bachchan’s brother, Ajitabh, (when the Bachchan family was still close to the Gandhis), was one of the first safe keepers of the kickbacks of the Swedish canon makers. Exposes of Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nhyeter further confirmed it, though Ajitabh went to court against them.

    There is no doubt, further says my Swiss friend, that part of the Bofors money is still in Switzerland. Indeed, we are all waiting for the Swiss banks to reveal (under US pressure) the names of all the dictators, thieves, dishonest rulers of so many countries in the world, who have stashed their ill-gotten money in UBS bank or Credit Suisse.

    Meanwhile, all roads seem to lead to Sonia Gandhi: she is the first Lady of India, although she is a simple MP like hundreds of others, the ultimate arbiter, and nothing of importance is decided without her caveat. The immense power she wields within the Congress cannot be only due to her charisma, of her having the Gandhi name or having brought cohesion in the Congress.

    It is also, and perhaps mainly, because she holds the purse strings of tremendous amounts of money. These party funds are overt: all the foundations, Rajiv, Indira, Nehru, etc, which store thousands of crores; and covert, starting with the Bofors scam. Where are the secret bank accounts where the scam money is stored? Under whose names are they operated? How is the money brought back to India? Who will answer all these questions?

    We know that Quattrochi, the man who could have spilt the beans, was shamelessly let off the hook, not only by the CBI which today is conducting — two years late — the investigation on the 2G scam, but also by the then law minister who is today the governor who pretends to be after corruption in Karnataka! Not only was Quattrochi spared, but was allowed to take the money he had looted from India and which was frozen in British banks, so that he would not talk.

    Will Raja talk, if he is arrested, as it is rumoured? Surely he knows a lot of secrets, as some of the 2G, Adarsh CWG money, and other unknown scams, must also have gone into the Congress coffers. That is the question that the Congress leadership should debate instead of going after ‘Hindu terror’, a misnomer if there is one.

    If you look at statistics for the last 1,000 years, it is Hindus who have been at the receiving end of terror — millions of them have died, including in Kashmir in the late ’Eighties, when Benazir Bhutto launched her ‘Azad Kashmir’ movement (I was there).

    Yet Sonia Gandhi remains a mystery for many of us, even for me who has known her for a long time.

    I found her quite likable when she was just Rajiv Gandhi’s (the pilot) spouse, a loving wife, who had adopted the Indian way of life; a good daughter -in-law: Indira Gandhi died on her lap on the way to the hospital, after being shot by her Sikh bodyguards; and more than everything, a good mother, who doted on her children and tried all her life to protect them.

    I then knew that she had kept her Italian passport, even after taking the Indian nationality (India does not allow you to hold two passports), but I have met quite a few foreigners in Delhi who also retained their origin passports after having obtained the Indian one.

    I myself toyed for some time with the idea of taking the Indian nationality, as I speak Hindi quite fluently, but it is too difficult to travel with an Indian passport. I do not mind also her remaining a Christian: after all, I am still one myself. Indeed, one of my Italian journalist friends told me that he prayed with her, along with Rajiv Gandhi, at a mass in Calicut with the bishop officiating — that is her private business.

    But after her husband was blown to pieces by the LTTE, I observed a drastic change in her: she did not seem to trust anybody anymore, became aloof and suspicious. I also watched with dismay how the Congress leaders, some of them men and women of substance, whom I knew personally, applied pressure on her to enter politics for years.

    Furthermore, I thought that in her fortress of Janpath, surrounded twenty-four hours by security, she gradually lost touch with the reality of India. Despite the fact that I met her a few times after Rajiv’s death, I thus took discreetly my distances with her. It is then that I came up with my famous phrase on Sonia, for which she never forgave me: “the moribund and leaderless Congress party has latched on to Sonia Gandhi who is Italian by birth and Roman Catholic by baptism”.
     
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  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    We are not living in a democracy. This democracy is only a sham and a farce compared to the true meaning of democracy. India is a virtual tyranny where the leaders get to bleed the nation off lakhs of crores of rupees and the people just sit there ignoring and continuing with "chalta hai" mentality. The lack of accountability and further the lack of will of people to question each government department whether economic welfare, military spending, healthcare and education etc shows that India is a dictatorship. Here those who question are beaten up or killed by hired goons of the ruling government (no matter who) and MLAs are known for their brutality with common middle and lower-middle classes.

    Everything about this country's ruling system: "Free, Liberal, Secular, Democracy" is an insult to its real meaning.
     
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  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Sonia should be quizzed about 2G scam, CVC row


    B Raman
    The assumption that Sonia Gandhi can do no wrong has to be challenged by the public, the media and the political class, says B Raman

    Sonia Gandhi can do no wrong.

    That seems to be the basic assumption in the current debate on the various controversial decisions taken by the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh since it was formed after the elections of 2009.

    These include decisions related to the questionable functioning of the ministry of telecommunications or the wrongful appointment of someone facing a probe to the post of the chief vigilance commissioner.

    In all the debates in public -- whether in the media or by political parties -- the focus has been on the role of the prime minister, other concerned ministers and bureaucrats. I watched with interest the debate on various TV channels about the adverse judgment of a bench of the Supreme Court in the case regarding the procedure followed for the appointment of PJ Thomas as the chief vigilance commissioner.

    The eminent people who participated in the debates, as well as the TV anchors, focussed only on the role of the various personalities in the government from the prime minister downwards.

    Not one of them mentioned even in passing the possible role of Sonia Gandhi -- as the leader of Congress party -- in these controversial decisions. Even the spokespersons of opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, did not mention her name in their interventions.

    Does this mean all these controversial decisions were taken only by the government, with the Congress leadership playing no role in it? Any objective analyst would find it difficult to accept this.

    We have been subjected to a peculiar system of governance since 2004 where real power seems to be wielded by Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as the head of the Congress party.

    There has been an unseen but unquestioned power which has been exercising a compulsive influence on decision-making in important matters. This compulsive influence is quite evident in the case of the appointment of the chief vigilance commissioner.

    Whether in matters related to his appointment or the defence of his appointment before the Supreme Court, everyone from the prime minister downwards has been acting as if they were doing so at the instance of an invisible force that could not be resisted. Such an invisible force could be only that of Sonia Gandhi.


    She has been conducting herself as a neutral, disinterested bystander, who had nothing to do with any of these decisions. She has not spoken on any of these decisions in any great detail, nor has she been questioned.

    Everyone, including the media and even the opposition, has been behaving as if she is like the British monarch, above and beyond all controversies. Hence, she cannot be questioned about her role in them.

    If one has to find out the real truth behind the recent controversies, it is as important to probe her role in them as it is to go into the role of others. The assumption that Sonia Gandhi can do no wrong has to be challenged by the public, the media and the political class.
    She must be made to face the fire of criticism and questioning like any other leader. She should no longer be treated as if she is a morally superior person whose good faith and integrity have to be implicitly accepted.

    It is important for the Joint Parliamentary Committee -- now being constituted to probe the 2G scam -- to summon her and question her in detail about the various controversies. It is equally important for her role in decision-making to be debated in Parliament, in the media and elsewhere. She should herself welcome a greater public focus on her role and influence in decision-making.
     
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  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Sonia blames PMO for CVC mess


    Says Prime Minister must revamp his office

    Iftikhar Gilani
    New Delhi


    The Congress core group, which met here on 4 March to take stock of the Supreme Court verdict quashing the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner PJ Thomas, is understood to have directed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to revamp the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

    The message went through strongly, sources said.

    Hours before the meeting, the Prime Minister had said he accepted responsibility for appointing Thomas. But the Congress core group is understood to have said it was not the Prime Minister but the PMO, which is the guilty party.

    The Congress leaders are understood to have said that the existing officers in the PMO appear to have misled the Prime Minister.

    Top Congress sources said party president Sonia Gandhi in particular raised doubts on the PMO in the meeting, pointing out that she was told the PMO repeatedly insisted on making PJ Thomas the CVC.

    She asked the Prime Minister to identify the officers in the PMO who pushed for Thomas. Sonia also pointed out the role of the PMO in the ISRO S-band spectrum controversy, the sources said, adding that she was not very happy with the PMO’s response to the 2G spectrum issue either.

    Sonia said the conduct of the officers in the PMO must be probed because their wrong advice has been repeatedly putting the Congress in a difficult position, the sources added.

    Two senior ministers who attended the core group meeting also said Sonia specifically conveyed her anguish over the negative publicity for the past six months because of the selection of Thomas.

    Sources said the needle of suspicion is pointing to the Prime Minister's Principal Secretary TKA Nair, a retired Punjab cadre IAS officer who is with Singh since 2004. Apparently, Nair included Thomas’s name in the panel shortlisted for the position.

    The sources further said it was again Nair who had assured the Prime Minister that Thomas was an officer of impeccable integrity and cited the views he had gathered in this regard from a score of bureaucrats from Kerala who had worked with Thomas.

    Since Thomas was once the Chief Secretary of Kerala, the sources said the Prime Minister had also consulted Defence Minister AK Antony who is understood to have described Thomas as an upright and honest officer.

    The sources said Manmohan Singh told the core group meeting he had gone by the advice given by Antony and his officers in the PMO and did not expect that the appointment of a fine officer like Thomas would put the government in an embarrassing position.

    The PMO has a Minister of State, V Narayanasamy.

    The core officers in the PMO are Nair, who has the rank of a Minister of State, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who also has the rank of MoS, Secretary MN Prasad, Additional Secretary R Gopalakrishnan, and Media Adviser Harish Khare.

    There are also four joint secretaries, two private secretaries, an OSD, nine Directors, a Joint Director, three Deputy Secretaries, and three Under Secretaries.

    Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said a decision has been taken to let Narayanasamy give the clarification statement in Parliament on the Supreme Court verdict quashing Thomas’s appointment.

    The government's strategy not to let Manmohan Singh make the statement is to shield him from an anticipated Opposition attack.

    It might be, however, difficult for the government to justify Narayanasamy making the statement as the Opposition is likely to insist on the Prime Minister making the statement. The PM was part of the three-member High Powered Committee that cleared Thomas’s appointment.

    A three-judge Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia had on 3 March struck down the CVC’s appointment, ruling that the appointment was illegal.

    In a related instance, Rashtrapati Bhawan sources said President Pratibha Patil is yet to receive the official communication on Thomas.

    There are two Vigilance Commissioners also in the Central Vigilance Commission.
     
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  6. Atul

    Atul Founding Member

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  7. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is nothing new about this so called GANDHI family who truely are not the part of Mahatma Gandhi's family. It is disgusting and disturbing to see the true heirs of Gandhi being in a low profile life and the people who on heriting the name leading a very high profile portfolio in INDIA and also leading a very high profile life, which thery are not worthy. They still have to pay an electricity bill of their house. Shame on such a high profile family, they can't even pay their electricity bill.
     
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  8. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    It's highly shameful for India that we are being ruled by Corrupt Shameless Congress and a low IQ mafia bandit family such as dumb Gandhis (with its sly coterie)!!

    Sooner or latter something has to be done about these shameless elite congress and swiss-bank holding corporates families and middlemen.
     
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  9. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well they are even trying to chane our culture by bringing the western culture into INDIA. We the innocent people are getting addicted to the western life style.
     
  10. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Indian politicians really need to learn some etiquettes. Why can't they make their points without resorting to such low level name calling and personal attacks on people? Its even sadder to see people clap at these remarks. I guess its a reflection of the still uneducated and gawaar Indian masses. As they say, jaise log, waisi siyasat.
     
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  11. lodaxstax

    lodaxstax Regular Member

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    he is no politician but a bureaucrat. what you suffer from is politically correctitis which is single most dangerous disease affecting the Indians. he may not be one of the more eloquent speaker but he speaks from his heart and it shows in his desultry speech and uncontrolled emotions.

    look at the message rather than the messenger.
     
  12. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    This sort of cheap language and stooping down to such low levels is not required.

    However what is really damning that this speech was made on 27th February, till date the named parties have not reacted to this. If these are unsubstantiated claims then Vilasrao Deshmukh and others should file a case of defamation against this gentleman. their silence speaks a thousand words. The nation is listening and watching. It is a like a dormant volcano showing ominous signs of activity. Time for the corrupt class to wake up and be prepared to face the consequences.
     
  13. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Not every point has to be shot down termed as foolish "Political Correctness". I was wrong, I do not know him, and going by the way typical politicians in the country speak, assumed he was one. I said nothing against the message, only pointed out in his manner of delivering his message. Calling other people "heejray" and delving in personal name calling isn't professional or even a proper example at all for people in public office. Asking for this much can be termed political correctness? I don't know. Maybe I have just spent too much time in Canada.
     
  14. lodaxstax

    lodaxstax Regular Member

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    ^^ yeah he was crude.but i think sometimes shock treatment helps too.we have been sleeping for too long,such jolts are good wake up call. and like sob said, no reaction till now despite what he said is serious allegations. this video should be promoted.
     
  15. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    One thing is sure folks, this country is never gonna become a superpower with this level of corruption ! I am sorry, but most people are living in a dream land, if they think we will.
     
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  16. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think Justice Kapadia is doing an impeccable job at making the high and mighty answer some questions that they have evaded too long. Its a rarity to find such people in world we live in today. But, then he won't be around for long.
     
  17. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    What so ever may be the question or issue against Sonia Gandhi, she will not be prooven guilty until she her self accepts the truth.
     
  18. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Only if we had a strong Lokpal things would be moving fast.

    Now if you bear with me for a few minutes let me give you a different perspective on how the edifice will come crumbling down.

    Most Indian black wealth is held in Switzerland using dummy companies and anonymised bank accounts. Its held primarily in the form of dollars. Dollars being the most liquid fiat currency there can be and as its the mode of exchange for big and small traders on the international stage.

    Do you think its the military might of USA that gives its dollar the value it claims to have? Think again. The usage of these dollars gives it its value. Otherwise its just a piece of paper.

    USA as we know is expanding its balance sheet by printing dollars to cover its debt. But thats because they can. Will the US government compromise the good deal it has got by its ability to print dollars, buy things from overseas and give them dollars in return? Will they kill the hen that lays the golden egg?

    They wont. They will keep buying things, sending their dollars to the sellers this decreasing the value of the dollars. Sellers buy US treasuries with these dollars. Uncle Sam is obligated to redeem the treasuries when they mature. The US treasury yield is progressively rising since 1990's. When yield increases to a high number, to redeem these treasuries means printing more physical dollars, thus diluting its value even more. Ultimately we see a Zimbabwe or Argentina or Weimar style hyperinflation where a 100 billion dollar buys you 1 egg.

    [​IMG]

    Now think about the billions of black money in Swiss accounts. Always remember politicians are the least educated among investors. They are going to loose out heck of a lot in the coming revaluation.

    Sorry to digress. But sometimes a different perspective helps. I hope.
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The US military might is what keeps the usage of dollar going to a large extent.
     
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