The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday cornered the Congress over the Bofors scandal that rocked the Rajiv Gandhi government during the 90s. The party MPs said that there is a need for a “proper investigation” of the bungled arms deal between India and Sweden.
After the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by the BJP members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar supported their demand for an inquiry into the issue, and stated that the issue had ‘resurfaced’ and the Congress should support an investigation into it if it stood for ‘probity in public life’.
Quoting Sten Lindstrom, a senior Swedish officer who had probed the alleged scam, Kumar said he had spoken about a “huge amount of evidence” that had been handed over to India and that the scale of bribery in the deal could be bigger than earlier thought.
“He has said that the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was involved in this. There must be a thorough probe. The country should know the complete truth,” the minister told reporters. Kumar declined to answer a question on whether his government would order a probe. He said the Congress should not “run away” from the matter which involved national security.
BJP Member of Parliaments, Meenakshi Lekhi and Nishikant Dubey had raised the issue in the House. The Bofors 155 field howitzer deal was mired in controversies after members of both Indian and Swedish governments were allegedly found involved in accepting kickbacks for facilitating the deal between the two countries.