$2 Billion and counting…

Documents by Agusta-Westland in an Italian court dealing with IAF’s scam deal for the AW 100 helicopter for VVIP use, mention “the Family” in political India which had to be paid off for the deal to go through. The talk of the head of the numero uno ruling dynasty raking in the monies — a big portion of nearly every deal GOI has been involved in since Manmohan Singh was hoisted into power in 2004, including all the scams starting with the Commonwealth Games scandals, is unabating. If there’s so much smoke surely there’s fire somewhere.

The Huffington Post’s compilation of a list of the world’s richest leaders on Monday, Dec 2, 2013 seemed to bolster this suspicion of unconstrained corruption, as featured in it was the President of the Congress Party Sonia Gandhi in the $2 Billion category — richer by some $600 Million than the Queen of England, Liz-II! It drew a tart comment that this denotes India’s “progress”! Interestingly, a day later (i.e., on Dec 3, 2013) the H-Post removed Sonia G’s name from that List, saying this info was taken from a third party source and was not verifiable. But then most of the other persons listed did not/have not publicly owned up to such wealth either. So, what’s different about Sonia G?

In any case, of the 203 comments on this story in the H-Post, see — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/29/richest-world-leaders_n_4178514.html — many reacted to Sonia G’s name in the List with a “Hey, tell us something new”!-attitude, most of them speculating that the name removal was because of (1) GOI pressure, (2) H-Post being paid off to remove the name, and/or (3) a powerful lobby in New Delhi.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Indian Politics, Military Acquisitions, South Asia. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to $2 Billion and counting…

  1. Vijaya Dar says:

    H-Post must have been threatened to withdraw the item because the figure of $2 Billion is an insult to the Famiglia. More likely it should be closer to 20 Billion, if we take the evidence from the Mitrokhyn archives.

  2. Yes, the Mitrokhyn Archives — but that would reveal almost all members of the Congress Party leadership as grown immeasurably rich, not little due to Soviet largesse!

  3. Sir, its so obvious that indian political system has been compromised beyobd redemption. …how secure are we?
    and with the latest news that a CIA backed firm is behind the aadhar biometrics project. .its shocking and depressing to see what we have become.

    I believe india needs is a decisive leader to take us out of this rut.

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