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MPs seek government explanation in Bofors issue

Delhi,Politics, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) There was uproar in both houses of parliament with the BJP and other opposition parties demanding an explanation from the government on former Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom's revelations on the Bofors gun payoff scandal, including the safe passage to main accused Ottavio Quattrocchi.


The Rajya Sabha was adjourned thrice while business in the Lok Sabha was suspended till 2 p.m. following the commotion on the issue of the Rs.1,500 crore deal on the Bofors gun in the 1980s for the Indian Army.


In Rajya Sabha, BJP leaders shouted slogans "Who saved Quattrocchi"; this was countered by the Congress members who shouted back, "BJP!" (saved Quattrocchi).


Amid the din, repeated pleas of Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to let the question hour proceed were not heeded to and he adjourned the house till 12 p.m.


The upper house was later adjourned till 2 p.m.


There were similar scenes in Lok Sabha with BJP attacking the government on Bofors issue.


"Bofors is a saga of continued corruption. Why was the red corner notice issued against Quattrocchi withdrawn? Quattrocchi was given a safe passage by the government. How did this happen?" asked BJP leader Jaswant Singh.


The Left demanded action against people responsible for letting Quattrocchi leave the country.


Basudeb Acharia, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader, said: "Quattrocchi was allowed to leave this country. There should be action against people who were responsible for this."


His colleague Sitaram Yechury added that the Bofors issue had plagued the country for over 20 years and affected the reputations of many respectable people.


"Anything that further comes out in the Bofors case should be made public," he added.


In an interview to website, Lindstrom, who had operated under pseudonym Swedish Deep Throat and was the whisteblower on the suspected corruption, said there was no evidence to show that late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had taken a bribe in the Bofors deal but he did not stop the cover-up to protect Quattrocchi.


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