The late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, left in white, with Sam Pitroda, middle (Pic: ‘Sam Pitroda: A Biography’ —Konark Publishers)
With India’s signature arms purchase payoff scandal, the Bofors gun deal, being politically resurrected after over a quarter century, I thought it might be useful to revisit the pages of my first book that very briefly touched upon it.
It was in the 1992 biography of technology guru Sam Pitroda that I detailed a conversation between him and then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi about the very subject of the Bofors deal. It was important for me that Pitroda spoke about whether the two ever discussed it because their professional association and personal friendship grew even as Gandhi battled the scandal which eventually dislodged him. He never quite recovered from that despite protestations of his innocence and was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by a Tamil Tigers suicide bomber.
Rather than paraphrasing the particular passage from the book I have attached it here in full. I thought it was interesting that Gandhi pretty much said what Sten Lindstrom, a former police chief of Sweden investigating the allegations of kickbacks in the deal, has just said in his interview. The conversation between Gandhi and Pitroda took place in October, 1989, at the height of the controversy.