New Delhi, Feb 3: The Congress on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi-led BJP government of conspiring against it, saying it (the CBI moving SC to reopen Bofors case) was being done to “safeguard itself from facing a public backlash in the upcoming general elections” and to divert attention from its failures.
While addressing media, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said “the decision of the Delhi High Court in the Bofors case established how Congress leadership, including (former Prime Minister) Rajiv Gandhi, was a victim of the smear campaign of the BJP decades ago”.
Taking potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he stated “The smear campaign of the BJP against the Congress was exposed in 1991 by the people’s mandate. And even after the death of Rajiv Gandhi, the top courts exposed their conspiracies.”
The Congress leader was referring to the Delhi High Court ruling of February 4, 2004, giving a clean chit to Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors case.
The court in its order asserted that no convincing evidence has been brought before it to prove that he received any kickbacks in the Rs 1,437 crore deal to buy 155 mm Howitzer guns from AB Bofors of Sweden.
Surjewala’s remarks came a day after the CBI filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the 2005 Delhi High Court verdict discharging Britain-based Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakash Hinduja — in the case of alleged corruption in the purchase of Bofors 155 mm howitzers.
In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Surjewala alleged that the “conspirator BJP government under Modiji is indulging in cheap politics by using the Bofors issue again to divert the attention of the public from the real issues”.
“A failed Modi government is using such cheap tricks to save itself from being dethroned in 2019.
“They are indulging in cheap politics but they are not going to succeed,” the Congress leader asserted.
Surjewala also said that even Attorney General K.K. Venugopal in his letter said that there is no evidence or truth in the case.
“Despite that, after 27 years of the death of Rajiv Gandhi, filing an appeal in the courts exposes the Modi government,” he said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) on January 22 in 1990, registered an FIR for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadha and the Hindujas.