The Bofors issue rocked the Parliament on Thursday with the Oppositon charging the govt with not solving the corruption case even after so many years. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, BJP leader Jaswant Singh said that Bofors is a saga of continuing corruption. The BJP and the Left parties demanded reopening of the graft case and a judicial probe into it. BJP members trooped into the well of the House following heated exchanges with Congress members, forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the House for over 90-minutes.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh said though "the correct weapon was acquired, it was acquired in a wrong manner .... You (Congress) have paid, we have paid. The nation continues to pay". "Till you don't remove this thorn, the poison will continue to spread. ... Whatever is happening in the defence sector today is because of this episode. It is a saga of continuing corruption. In matters of corruption, there is no closure," he said, demanding setting up of a judicial commission to probe the issue.
CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia demanded reopening of the Bofors pay-offs case, institution of an independent inquiry and extradition of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.
Admitting that the NDA had failed to get Quattrocchi extradited after his arrest in Malaysia, Singh said, "Many will say why did you not do it. You have failed, we have failed. But don't consider our failure as your success."
Observing that it gave him "no delight" to raise this issue, he said, "25 years have passed but the storm of Bofors refuses to subside and the guns continue to blaze." Without naming Rajiv Gandhi, the BJP leader said, "The absence of the late Prime Minister is felt. A promising leader was taken away from our polity."
He blamed the Congress govt of allowing Quattrocchi to escape from the country. He further said that corruption in Bofors case led to the fall of the Congress government at that time.
Singh also expressed unhappiness that the name of a top actor (Amitabh Bachchan) of our country was maligned by people investigating the in the case.
Earlier today, the Rajya Sabha was rocked by the latest revelations of former Swedish police official Sten Lindstrom with the Opposition disrupting the proceedings on the issue.
As soon as the House met for the day, Members of the Opposition BJP, led by Ravi Shankar Prasad, were on their feet demanding a discussion on the issue.