Bofors scam: Swedish police chief's remarks trigger political slugfest

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 18:54 hrs
Bofors scandal resurfaces to tarnish Congress

Swedish Police chief Sten Lindstrom's remarks about the Bofors scam led to a political slugfest on Wednesday with BJP accusing Rajiv Gandhi of shielding Ottavio Quattrocchi and Congress charging the opposition with "misleading" the country on the issue.

While BJP alleged that the former Prime Minister saved the Italian businessman, the ruling party strongly refuted the charge and slammed the Opposition for "misleading" the country asking them to "apologise to the the nation".

BJP Parliamentary Party has decided to rake up the Bofors pay-offs issue in Parliament in the wake of fresh allegations that then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi may have soft-pedalled the probe to protect Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.

Later BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters, "The entire government of India at that point in time was out to save Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, including then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi".

Reacting sharply to it, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, "They have no reason to raise any fingers on us. In the last 25 years, the country has been ruled by many parties including BJP and others but nothing could be found. NDA was also in power made all possible efforts to dig out something (against Rajiv Gandhi) but nothing came out."

He said, "I want to tell all those political parties and leaders who are misleading the country by making false statements that they should seek an apology from the nation."

Alvi said as far allegations about Rajiv Gandhi are conerned, even Lindstorm has "given him a clean chit" saying there was no proof that the late Prime Minister was bribed.

He also said too much significance should not be given to the statement of one former police officer when pointed out that the former cop has also said that Gandhi did not make any effort to stop the cover-up of Quattrocchi.

"CBI filed cases against Quattrocchi in three countries but the courts of all these countries refused to hand him over to India saying no case is made out against him. We have done our best. What more could be done," Alvi said.

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