Why Not A Chargesheet Against Manmohan Singh?

After the “coalgate” exposes, there have been few calls for booking a case against the PM Manmohan Singh. (Mammohan Singh was running the coal portfolio when those allotments were made to private players.) In Team Anna, Arvind Kejrival has been forthright that Singh should be investigated.

This is in stark contrast with the stand adopted by Subramanian Swamy and Baba Ramdev. Both have them are saying that no allegations should be made against Singh directly. CBI has also refused to investigate Singh’s acts of commission and ommission, despite prodding from the Central Vigilance Commission.

Why is everyone avoiding a direct confrontation with Singh? The reason why Subramaniam Swamy avoids allegations against the Singh may be tactical. If Singh is himself gets accused corruption, then he will simply deny the allegations and refuse to take any action. But, if accusations are made against his cabinet colleagues, then he at least can put on a charade of taking action. The other big reason is that if accusations are directed at Singh, then the PM will send the Intelligence Bureau (IB) against the accusers. Although the IB is an organization with no legal status, it runs the country because the Rothschilds order Indian Prime Ministers to listen to it.

Baba Ramdev in his previous dharna made allegations against the PM. The PM, on the advise of the IB, sent police goons to chase and mercilessly attack his supporters at the dharna. Baba Ramdev is wiser by experience. Swamy is even wiser thanks to his decades of public life.

Now, what allegations can be made against Singh so that he will go to jail? Before that, let me settle that the CBI stand that it cannot investigate “policy decisions” taken by Singh is untenable. You cannot make a policy decision to enrich undeserving private parties. Raja is in jail because he deliberately change the rules to favour certain companies. Singh took away coal blocks from Coal India and gave them to private parties at throwaway rates without competitive bidding and without ascertaining if they had the wherewithal to properly exploit the blocks. Now, back to our list.

  1. Giving Coal India’s coal blocks to unqualified private parties at throwaway rates.
  2. Writing numerous letters to and forcing ONGC to give natural gas supply to TR Baalu’s companies at below-market rates.
  3. Claiming shortage of domestic uranium supply and then signing expensive deals with foreign suppliers of nuclear reactors instead of fuel.
  4. Unfreezing Quatrocci bank account so that he could take away his bribe money.

This is for starters. There many other allegations that can be Singh can be prosecuted for. I just don’t have time. It is unlikely that the BJP will be interested in all this. They are hand in hand with the Congress and the Leftist parties in creating a charade. They all make a big fuss and forget about it afterwards. (Recently a Calcutta HC judge was subject to an elaborate charade to give the impression of cleaning the judicial stables of corruption.)

Take Arun Jaitely of the BJP. He is at the forefront of the BJP attack against the government in Parliament. He should be the last person to follow up these allegations to its logical conclusion. Why?

Just read the Chitra Subramaniam’s account in the Outlook magazine (Smoking Guns: Eating Out Of A Foreign Hand; May 7, 2012; Outlook).

An election was lost on the inability of one of our most respected and admired prime ministers to tell us why Quattrocchi was paid. The proverb ‘the way to hell is paved with good intentions’ partly describes what the V.P. Singh government did to the Bofors investigations. First he announced he would “catch the thieves” in 14 days, while all of us in Switzerland and Sweden wondered if he had some clinching evidence. Mani Shankar Aiyar’s latest assault on the Indian investigating team is not entirely incorrect, whatever his political compulsions are. I know he did good work in Mayiladuthurai and then lost the election.

The first Letter Rogatory (LR)—a legal document countries exchange before the start of international assistance in criminal matters—was a museum piece. I had assisted the Indian government in securing the services of Marc Bonnant, one of the world’s best brains in matters of international criminal assistance. He was embarrassed to tell me that the LR filed by us would be thrown out not because of substance, but because there were rubber stamps all over the evidence, with numerous signatures making every page illegible, therefore not acceptable in a court of law. Some pages were stapled all around, as if we were hiding something, and everything was bound together in a fat file with unbreakable thread. Snowman, my Swiss source, asked if cutting the unbreakable thread had any legal consequences.

That LR was thrown out, the guilty claimed victory and in the following months the government fell, but not before they had planted stories in New Delhi—the city of gossip—Switzerland and Sweden. When you treat cancer, the first diagnosis has to be accurate. If your doctor gets that wrong, you are in serious trouble. Many Indian politicians carelessly compare cancer to our political system without realising they are part of it.

Here is Iyer’s followup account (‘B’ For Bofors, ‘N’ For Nobody?; 28 May 2012; Outlook):

When Rajiv Gandhi was soundly beaten in the elections of November 1989, why would he demand in the Lok Sabha that the incoming prime minister place on the table of the House every single paper dealing with Bofors so that the country could see whether the new Leader of the Opposition was a crook or not? Why would a guilty party demand that the evidence against him be made public? Only because he was not guilty.

V.P. Singh reneged on his promise to place all the Bofors papers on the table and submitted only the choice few he deemed fit to prove his outrageous claim, made during the elections, that the piece of paper he pulled out of his pocket contained the details of the relevant bank accounts and the guilty would be brought to book within weeks of his winning the election. A critical noting in the files tabled showed that on the very day the Swedish National Accounting Bureau confirmed that illegal payments had indeed been made (my memory is the date was June 4, 1987), the prime minister was raising on file all the relevant questions: whether a military assessment had been made about the security implications of indefinitely postponing procurement of a gun the army had hitherto held critical to the defence of the nation; whether an alternative gun of the same quality, with “shoot and scoot” capability, could be procured within a reasonable period of time and, if so, at what estimated extra cost; whether cancelling the Bofors contract would stand the scrutiny of the International Court of Arbitration; what effect such cancellation would have on other commercial contracts; and so on and so forth.

But, alas, without the prime minister knowing, his additional secretary, the very powerful bureaucrat, Gopi Arora, decided to suppress the file. Not till Arun Singh, the minister of state for defence, resigned at the end of the following month did the prime minister’s pertinent questions reach the ministry. This is evident from the notings that show that although Rajiv penned his questions in his own hand and signed the file in early June, it was received in the defence ministry only at the end of July.

Many years later, I asked Gopi, who was a friend and colleague of mine at the PMO, why he did this. His reply was that he was hoping to heal the rift between the two erstwhile friends, Rajiv and Arun Singh, which he thought would be irretrievably damaged if the file went forward. The moot point is that not one shred of evidence indicating any wrongdoing was revealed in the papers made public by prime minister V.P. Singh. Deservedly, he fell within a year, but not before his additional solicitor general, one Arun Jaitley, chasing the Bofors chimera between Delhi, Stockholm and Geneva, had disgraced the fair name of our nation with his shameful letters rogatory, as testified to by Lindstrom, who is so quoted as saying in Chitra’s column.

Politics is a just shouting match. Somebody wins and they get to set in the throne. Ultimately, it is the power behind the throne, that is the Rothschilds, who are going to be of consequence. This is why when Narasimha Rao was PM, the BJP opposed the Enron project. When BJP came to power afterwards for just 13 days, Atal Behari Vajpayee found just enough time to pass the project (with sovereign guarantees – guaranteed profits irrespective of market conditions).

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