Ground Report | New Delhi: Scams in which the Gandhi-Nehru family was accused; A look at the scams in independent India in which the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and after him his family members have been accused.
Scams in which Gandhi-Nehru family was accused
Agusta Chopper Scam- 2013
In 2013, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel was accused of taking a commission from Italian chopper company AgustaWestland.
India was to buy 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland under a deal worth Rs 36 billion.
A note dated March 15, 2008, placed in an Italian court indicated that Congress President Sonia was playing a key role in this VIP chopper purchase.
Vadra-DLF Scam- 2012
In 2012, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s wife Sonia Gandhi and her son-in-law Robert Vadra were accused of taking an interest-free loan of Rs 65 crore from real estate company DLF.
It was also alleged that the motive behind this non-interest payment was to give a political advantage to the company. It was also said that during this period, during the Congress government at the Centre, Robert Vadra bought land in many parts of the country at very low prices.
National Herald Case-2011
A company named Associated Journals Limited was formed with Congress money in 1938 and ran three newspapers – National Herald, Navjeevan and Qaumi Awaaz. These newspapers were closed on 1 April 2008.
In March 2011, Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi opened a company called Young India Limited, in which both had 38-38% stake. The purpose of setting up the company was to clear the liabilities of Rs 90.21 crore on AJL.
The party invested another one crore rupees in Herald House which was once with AJL. In this case, Subramanian Swamy went to court against Sonia and Rahul and filed a case of misuse of property.
Bofors scam – 1990-2014
This scandal deeply dented the image of the Gandhi family in the 1980s and 1990s, and especially Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister.
There were allegations that Swedish gun maker Bofors had given Rs 64 crore as commission to several Congress leaders including Rajiv Gandhi so that he could sell his 155 mm howitzer guns to the Indian Army.
Later, Sonia Gandhi was also accused in the Bofors gun deal when the Italian businessman and close friend of the Gandhi family, Ottavio Quattrocchi, moved to Argentina.
Maruti Scam – 1973
Even before the establishment of the car company Maruti, the name of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came in the Maruti scam when her son Sanjay Gandhi got a license to manufacture passenger cars.
In 1973, Sonia Gandhi was transferred to Maruti Technical Services Pvt Ltd. was made MD, although Sonia did not have the necessary technical qualifications for this. The company got many exemptions from the Indira government regarding taxes, funds, and land.
But the company could not produce a single car to be launched in the market and was discontinued in 1977.
Nagarwala Scandal – 1971
Rustam Sohrab Nagarwala, a former army captain, imitated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s voice, called the State Bank of India branch at Parliament Street and got Rs 60 lakh withdrawn from him.
The scam broke out when Nagarwala gave a lot of notes to the taxi driver after taking the money. After this, SBI Head Cashier Ved Prakash Malhotra had to resign. Nagarwala was caught and died in jail.
Nagarwala had pretended to withdraw money that he had asked for money on the orders of the Prime Minister’s office and needed money to deal with the Bangladesh crisis.
Mundra Scandal – 1951
Calcutta industrialist Haridas Mundra is remembered as the first such scam in independent India which was then linked to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1957, Mundra invested 12 crore 40 lakh rupees in his six companies through the government insurance company LIC.
This investment was made under government pressure by ignoring the investment committee of LIC. By the time LIC came to know, it had lost several crores.
The matter was exposed by Feroze Gandhi, the son-in-law of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which Nehru wanted to settle silently as it tarnished the country’s image. Nehru also tried to save his finance minister TT Krishnamachari, but in the end he had to resign.