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Union Minister Ananth Kumar seeks probe into Bofors issue

BJP members raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2017 19:33 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
BJP,Bharatiya Janata Party,Congress
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on July 19, 2017. (PTI)

The BJP on Monday sought to corner the Congress over the Bofors issue, saying there should be a “proper investigation” into the arms deal, and the country should know the “complete truth”.

After BJP members raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar supported their demand for an inquiry, saying the issue had resurfaced and the Congress should support an investigation into it if it stood for probity in public life.

BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Nishikant Dubey had raised the issue in the House.

Quoting Sten Lindstrom, a senior Swedish officer who had probed the alleged scam involving then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Kumar said he had spoken about a “huge amount of evidence” that had been handed over to India and that the scale of bribery in the deal could be bigger than earlier thought.

“He has said that the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was involved in this. There must be a thorough probe. The country should know the complete truth,” the minister told reporters.

Kumar declined to answer a question on whether his government would order a probe.

He said the Congress should not “run away” from the matter which involved national security.

The 1986 deal between India and Sweden for Howitzer field guns was mired in controversy over allegations of kickbacks being paid to Indian politicians and others.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 19:33 IST