Bofors scam: Amitabh - a victim of a ‘plant’
Mumbai: Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan heaved a big sigh of relief after his name was cleared from the Bofors gun payoff scandal. Addressing a press conference here Bachchan welcomed the revelations made by the Swedish investigators in the Bofors case.
According to former Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom, it has been confirmed that Amitabh Bachchan’s name was ‘planted’ by the Indian agencies in the Bofors case, the scandal that rocked the nation 25 years ago.
Breaking his silence, Amitabh said, “I am happy that the truth has emerged after twenty five years.”
On being asked how does it feel to be vindicated after such a long time, he said, “From the very first day we have maintained that we were innocent. For 25 years me as well as my family bore the brunt of the scandal of which we were never a part of.”
He added, “Wish this revelation came much earlier as I have lived with humiliation. My father once asked if I was really involved in the scandal. I wish this disclosure would have happened when he was alive.”
Bachchan said that no one would be able to understand or fathom what he had to go through.
Earlier in his blog, Big B wrote, “I speak from personal experience and personal exoneration. 25 years after the incident, I read today from one that pioneered accusation and investigation, of innocence. Of the fault that never lay before me. Of one that remained and shall perhaps remain a darkened spot, blemished beyond all recognition, but in admittance of wrong doing against me. No one shall be able to understand or even remotely fathom, the hours and days and months and years of the anguish of petulant blame, that I had to go through."
In an interview to website thehoot.org, Lindstrom, who had operated under pseudonym Swedish Deep Throat, said there was no evidence to show that Gandhi had taken a bribe in the Bofors deal but he didn`t stop the cover-up to protect Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi.
He also said the case against actor and then Congress MP Amitabh Bachchan and his family was planted in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter by Indian investigators.
"Their mission was misguidance, connived to its maximum, for issues that never ever did be of any concern in the execution of their own selfish mercenary agenda. They won momentarily. But lost ultimately. Lost position and strength and power yes, but importantly their conscience. And today that counts the most!" said Amitabh.
The Bofors gun payoff scandal was a major corruption scandal in India during the 1980s and 1990s implicating then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others who were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India 155 mm field howitzers. The scale of the corruption -- estimated to the tune of Rs.64 crore - was far worse than any that India had seen before and directly led to the defeat of Gandhi`s ruling Indian National Congress party in the November 1989 general elections.
(With IANS Inputs)