ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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MRTP ACT FERA-Preparing the Ground

minister) advising the same course of action, it is obvious that this advice could have been rejected only by Rajiv Gandhi. The government's laboured efforts to controvert General Sundarji's account of the meeting at the prime minister's residence on July 4, 1987 at which, according to Sundarji, Rajiv Gandhi berated those present for urging that Bofors be threatened with cancellation of the contract are also therefore quite immaterial. The decision to reject the option of compelling Bofors to disclose the details of the commissions paid was, it is clear as daylight, that of Rajiv Gandhi who overruled the advice of not only the chief of army staff (who might be said to have taken a purely military view of the matter) but also the minister of state for defence. That is the import of General Sundarji's interview and that stands despite the government's attempted denial through this week's orchestrated statements from the defence ministry, the then defence secretary (now governor of Sikkim) and the then additional defence secretary. This of course immediately brings up the politically all-important question: why, but why, was the prime minister so anxious to rule out use of the one weapon which was most likely to make Rotors come out with the truth, specifically the identity of those who had received the illegal payoffs? The answer. to the question is, it seems, getting plainer with every passing day.

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