NDTV exclusive: Arun Singh breaks his silence on Bofors, fallout with Rajiv


Walk the Talk with Arun Singh on NDTV 24X7 on July 29 at 7.30 pm

July 27, 2006, New Delhi---For the first time ever, former Minister of State for Defence, Arun Singh, discusses his closed-door discussions with Rajiv Gandhi about the Bofors scandal. A highly-emotional Mr. Singh looks back on the Bofors controversy in a 2-part interview with Shekhar Gupta, Indian Express Editor-in-Chief and host of NDTV's highly-acclaimed "Walk the Talk".

Mr. Singh goes on record to state that he is convinced that "somebody" took money on the Bofors deal. He says he doesn't know who that party is, but felt he could have found out, had Mr. Gandhi not stopped him from inquiring into it the way he wanted?

When asked by Shekhar Gupta if he is certain that Rajiv Gandhi did not accept any money as part of the Bofors scam, Mr. Singh says: "I cannot say that. I don't think that he stopped me on the grounds that he took it. I have absolutely no idea of who took money in Bofors. I know only this much - somebody had. My argument - which cost me my friend - had nothing to do with who took the money. It had to do with who would catch the people who took the money. In my opinion, it was the job of the executive". Mr. Singh adds that this suggestion did not go down well with Mr. Gandhi: "Mr. Gandhi believed, I think, that if I made a mistake, or I failed...then he would have to carry the can for what would then be perceived as a major cover-up". Mr. Singh then describes a heated argument with Mr. Gandhi which ended their friendship.

Mr. Singh claims that he was accused by Mr. Gandhi of engaging in politics to get a more high-profile job within Mr. Gandhi's government: ?What hurt me the most was he wasn't sure if I was making a power play. That was the biggest insult. I left him with great bitterness."

In the second part of the interview, Mr. Singh shares the details of his relationship with Sonia Gandhi ("I have one sister...and that is Sonia"), and gives his insight into why she gave up the chance to be Prime Minister.

The first part of Walk the Talk with Arun Singh airs on Saturday, July 29 at 7.30 pm on NDTV 24X7, repeat on Sunday, July 30 at 4.30 pm.

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