"To say that it is an old case and it should be forgotten is wrong," BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi said.

After Swedish investigator Lindstroms revelations BJP demands Bofors case to be reopenedRajiv Gandhi/PTI file photo
news Politics Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 11:46

Lok Sabha members from the treasury benches on Monday raised a demand to reopen investigation into the alleged Bofors guns scam.

While several members from the treasury benches were seen demanding a discussion on the issue, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) member from New Delhi Meenakshi Lekhi said there were documents pertaining to discussions between then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme which proved a quid-pro-quo.

Sten Lindstrom, the Swedish police official who led the investigations, has been reported as saying Rajiv Gandhi and Palme discussed the details of a financial quid-pro-quo before the Bofors gun deal, under which Bofors would pay money to a foundation in Sweden to make it easier for payments to be made to Indians and others.

In a recent interview with Chitra Subramanian, who was one of the journalists who uncovered Bofors scandal, and Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, Lindstrom revealed, “Olof Palme and Martin Ardbo informed Rajiv Gandhi that the funds could be paid from Bofors to a foundation in Sweden for the purpose of promoting industry and employment in the Karlskoga region”. Karlsloga being the place where the Swedish arms manufacturer is located.

Drawing from more revelations that Lindstrom made, Lekhi said, “According to Lindstrom, the documents related to that discussion are still somewhere with the government. To say that it is an old case and it should be forgotten is wrong, because when old issues are not settled, their ghosts return to haunt."

BJP's Nishikant Dubey also raised the issue.

"The CBI should open and re-investigate the case. CBI had sought permission earlier as well, but he UPA government did not allow them," Dubey said.

The Bofors issue came in focus again recently after a parliamentary panel suggested that the case of irregularities in purchase of Bofors guns should be reopened as there were many "loopholes" in the investigation in past.

The CBI has said it can re-investigate only if a court or government order was issued.

The alleged corruption in the Bofors gun deal had created a scandal in 1989, leading to the fall of the government under Rajiv Gandhi.

A six-member Parliamentary Accounts Committee's subcommittee on defence was looking into non-compliance of certain aspects of the CAG report of 1986 on the deal.

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