Cong trashes WikiLeaks claim on Rajiv Gandhi; attacks BJP, Assange
The Congress on Monday trashed reports based on WikiLeaks claiming that late Rajiv Gandhi, much before becoming prime minister, may have been a middleman for a Swedish company trying to sell fighter aircraft to India.
Making it clear that the allegation against Rajiv Gandhi has no basis whatsoever, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi referred to the last line of the particular cable to emphasise that there was no foundation to the allegation and and accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of “spreading lies and falsehoods.”
He also urged media not to fall for “temporary gains” and added “we are very hurt with the news” but dismissed questions on whether the party will resort to any legal action into the matter.
“Having noted what the Swedes has said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information. The foundation of the whole story falls flat here,” he said quoting parts of the cable.
The leaked secret cable claimed that Gandhi was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable.
The cable dated October 21, 1975 says that the “Swedish Embassy Official has informed us that main negotiator with Swedes on Viggen (a fighter aircraft) at New Delhi end has been Mrs 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 heard his name as an entrepreneur.”
Rubbishing the report, Dwivedi said, “Today a reputed newspaper of the country has published a peculiar report. What is a matter of deep regret is that those sections of media, in whose wisdom, most people in the country rely have also now begun to believe in sensational news.”
Questioning the credibility of WikiLeaks, the Congress general secretary said, “An agency, which had sometime back collected a lot of so-called information or got it somewhere and published quoting American Embassy. Till date it has not been verified. I do not understand what is the basis of what has been published in the newspaper today.”
Raising doubts about the intentions of Assange, Dwivedi accused him of “spreading lies and falsehoods” and said he himself wants to form a political party.
As the BJP launched a stinging attack on the Congress over the latest cable issue, the Congress general secretary also reminded the opposition party of another WikiLeaks cable, which spoke of a big leader of the NDA taking money from the US intelligence agency CIA, a reference to George Fernandes.
Suggesting that the matter should “not be stretched further”, Dwivedi said otherwise it would be presumed that all this had happened in the knowledge of all the BJP leaders as well as Jayaprakash Narayan, who had led the anti-Congress movement in the 1970s.
“If it is accepted that there is any truth in this suspicion (about Rajiv Gandhi). Then just below that cable it is one more report in which the name of a big leader of the NDA figures.
“I do not want to take his name or level any accusation against him because of the condition in which he is. But whether that is also true that he used to get money from the CIA or he had demanded money from the CIA,” he said.
He asked “should we stretch this story to the extent that the BJP and all its leaders were involved in it, who supported the agitations going on and the vandalism that took place then. Should I stretch it to further and say that all this took place in the knowledge of Jayaprakash Narayan.”
Dwivedi said that people in the BJP, who were raking up this, should also think where they want to take the politics of the nation.
“What do they want after all. They forget all decorum.”
He said that these are the situations which prove Congress’ allegations true that the BJP “creates an atmosphere of suspicion in the country, promotes a propaganda of untruth, create an atmosphere of hatred, create such conditions in which Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were killed.”
Maintaining that the Congress never surrendered its principles for power, Dwivedi said that the BJP has been changing tracks for a long time — merging the party and then creating a new party unlike Congress, which has completed a journey of 127 years.
Attacking Assange, Dwivedi said,”what is that WikiLeaks. One persons spreads lies and plays a drama. He wants to popularise his name and desires to form a political party in his country.
“You should understand what are his desires and what is his level as an individual,” Dwivedi said.