Crash of MIG 27
The Rafale deal finalised by the Modi government has become such a hot topic that hardly a day passes without attack by Rahul Gandhi or his lieutenants and defence by ministers and BJP spokespersons.
The attacks and counter-attacks are about the price and allegations of corruption and favouritism. Prima facie, Rahul Gandhi wants to make these allegations an election issue as V. P. Singh had made the Bofors deal and that is why he is keeping the issue hot and will continue to do so until the election day.
However, in my opinion, there are more dangerous reasons the government and the BJP are ignoring.
The real reasons are explained by the realpolitik, domestic as well as international.
The manufacturers of aeroplanes, civilian as well as military, arms and ammunitions, drugs (I mean medicines), medical equipment, etc. spend huge amounts of money on lobbying to sell their products. They adopt all sorts of dirty tricks to sell their products. They believe that they can purchase anything and anybody. Quite often, they are right.
These manufacturers would not like India to slip out of their clutches. India being a very big importer of aeroplanes and arms and ammunitions, their agents are always active here. Their targets are corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and men in the armed forces. The Rafale deal has unnerved those who lost the market. They would do anything to create misapprehensions about the deal and bet on a favourable politician becoming Prime Minister of India.
The intelligence agencies of several countries also spend a lot of money and adopt all sorts of dirty tricks to halt the progress of other countries. We Indians should know it very well. How can we forget the false espionage cases in which sincere and honest scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) were implicated in late 1994 when there was a Congress government at the Centre? Not only was their career ruined, but the cryogenic engine project on which they were working also suffered a serious setback. Had our scientists who went to jail succeeded in completing the project, India would have been much ahead in the space technology. Unfortunately, the Indian Intelligence Bureau fell into the trap of foreign intelligence operators. The Congress government did not act when the CBI investigated and found that the charges were baseless.
Rahul Gandhi’s efforts to sabotage the Rafale deal is very much like the attempt to derail the cryogenic engine project. In the latter case, the foreign operators succeeded. Their mission to keep India weak will succeed only if Modi is defeated in 2019.
To add to India’s worries, we have Sonia Gandhi. She is a course on our country. She can never be a well-wisher of India. A semi-educated girl, she married Rajiv Gandhi who became Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, even before the Congress Parliamentary party had formally elected him a leader, simply because he was her son. Sonia Gandhi became Congress President only because she is Rajiv Gandhi’s widow. She did and got whatever she wanted. She used most offensive language against her detractors, especially Narendra Modi. She earned wealth beyond anybody’s estimate. She enjoyed power without any responsibility. She converted the Congress party into a private association of sycophants. She converted the assets of the party into her family assets.
Without occupying any position in the government or in the party, she lives in a house bigger than the official residence of the Indian Prime Minister. Now her only ambition is to see her good for nothing son as the Prime Minister of India.
During a period of 10 years (2004 – 2014), she ruled India through a puppet prime minister. She did everything possible to make India corrupt and weak. In 2007 when she was ruling the country, the Indian Air Force had requested the government to provide Medium Multi-role Combat Aircrafts. The fighter planes with the Air Force were becoming aged and outdated. The UPA government, rather the Sonia government, moved leisurely as if India’s defence was not a high priority. It took five years do select Rafale but price negotiations dragged on.
Another harsh reality is that all the defence and other big deals inked by the Congress governments have been scandalous. Heavy financial gains were expected in the Raffle deal as well. Had the Sonia rule continued, the negotiations with the French government would have continued and would have remained under consideration until all those who ‘deserved’ had benefited.
The Congress cannot digest the fact that such a big deal was finalised when it was out of power. At least one name of the potential beneficiary, had the Rafale deal been finalised under the Congress rule, is in public domain.
When Sonia Gandhi became India’s ruler, her son-in-law, Robert Vadra, got a ‘license’ to mint money, left and right, directly or through the name lenders. One such name lender was Sanjay Bhandari, a little known small car importer of Delhi. After 2004, he not only became a big and much sought-after name in the imported car market, he started diversifying in the areas of which he had absolutely no knowledge, what to say of experience. He became a defence consultant. He started a company, Offset India Solutions-Advanced Technology Private Limited, in 2008 with an investment of just Rs. 1 (one) lakh. Enterprising persons like Robert Vadra and his friends are very modest when setting up new companies.
Bhandari’s outfit got some highly sophisticated contracts. It became one of the serious bidders for the manufacture and supply of some components for Rafale. It was his bad luck that despite the strong political backing, he did not succeed. Anyway, the entire Rafale deal remained only on paper during the Sonia rule.
Bhandari duly rewarded his friend and benefactor Robert Vadra who became the owner of a posh property in London.
Both are now under investigation by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. They are hoping that once Rahul Gandhi becomes Prime Minister in 2019, all their worries will be over.
Consider the finalisation of the Rafale deal in this background.
In May 2014, when the Modi government took over, the Indian Air Force was in a very precarious condition. It had just 32 squadrons (16-18 planes in a squadron), the lowest in a decade, as against the minimum requirement of 42 squadrons (the number may be corrected by experts). Worse, the ageing MIGs and other aircrafts also needed to be replaced by latest fighters. The indigenously designed and developed Tejas was yet to be found suitable. The Modi government took up the issue on a priority basis and signed the Rafale deal with the French government in September 2016.
All hell broke loose. Rahul Gandhi lost his cool. Since then he has not recovered. Rather, he is becoming more and more aggressive. Rahul Gandhi and Congress have ‘valid’ reasons to be angry with Modi. The chance of making big money is lost. Modi will get credit for making India a strong. Therefore, everything possible must be done to sabotage the Rafale deal. So much noise should be made, so much lies should be spread that people will start believing that there must be something fishy.
Some people may say that Rahul has no brain of his own. May be. But his interests are in tune with the interests of all those who lost hopes to make money and all those who would like to see India weak. China, Pakistan and several lobbyists must be very happy.
Rahul has become part of a very big conspiracy. He is very useful to the anti-India forces. He is dancing to their tune. The former French President’s lie about the Indian government’s pressure to benefit an Indian businessman is part of the conspiracy.
The bottom line is that whether Rahul Gandhi is intelligent or foolish, his attacks on the Rafale deal should not be taken lightly. Even if he succeeds in convincing a small percentage of Modi supporters that he, Modi, is not above board, in a closely contested election, Modi may lose and the country would be exposed to serious threats from internal as well as external enemies.
Instead of being defensive, the Government should take an aggressive stand. It is high time that intelligence agencies (Intelligence Bureau and RAW), as well as all investigating agencies (CBI, ED, Income Tax), are directed to unearth the conspiracy against India’s security and expose the enemies, internal as well as external.
September 24, 2018