Author Topic: WikiLeaks cables on the Gandhis: Scanner on Rajiv, Sanjay, Sonia  (Read 801 times)

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WikiLeaks cables on the Gandhis: Scanner on Rajiv, Sanjay, Sonia

Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Apr 09 2013, 14:13 hrs


Fresh US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have claimed that Rajiv Gandhi was the "main Indian negotiator" for Swedish aircraft company Saab-Scania before entering politics.

The leaked secret cable was first reported by The Hindu on Monday and talked about Rajiv's "family connections", seen as valuable in connection with a huge fighter deal that was being negotiated for the IAF in the 1970s.

Responding to the report, the Congress accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of spreading "lies and falsehoods" while the BJP demanded the government come clean on the controversy.

"Swedish embassy officials has informed us that main Indian negotiator with swedes on viggen at New Delhi end has been Ms Gandhi's older son, Rajiv Gandhi. Latter's only association with aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as pilot for Indian airlines and this is first time we have heard his name as entrepreneur," said a US diplomatic cable sent on October 21, 1975.

The cables went on to say that French aviation firm Dassault, which was also in the race with its Mirage aircraft, had the son-in-law of the then Air Chief, Air Marshal O P Mehra, as its chief negotiator.

"Ms Gandhi (according to Swedish information) has made personal decision not to purchase British jaguar because of her prejudices against British... decision would be between Mirage and Viggen. The Swedish diplomat said that Sweden's neutral position in world politics is offsetting Viggen's higher cost. He expressed irritation at the way Ms Gandhi is personally dominating negotiations, without involvement of Indian air force officers," the cables said.