Book claims Cong took US money, party denies

An allegation that the Congress party took money from the United States during the Indira Gandhi era has been made in a book to be released on Tue, but the party dismissed the charge as "unsubstantiated and malicious".

Washington/New Delhi: An allegation that
the Congress party took money from the United States during
the Indira Gandhi era has been made in a book to be released
on Tue, but the party dismissed the charge as
"unsubstantiated and malicious".

The allegation is contained in the book which is a
collection of personal letters and journal entries of former
US Senator and Ambassador to India, late Daniel Patrick
Moynihan. It is edited by Steven R Weisman, public policy
fellow at Washington-based Peterson Institute.

Moynihan, who was Washington`s envoy to India during
the crucial years of 1973 to 1975, refers to the then US
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger`s meeting with Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi on October 28, 1974 in New Delhi.

In his journal entry, the Ambassador says Kissinger had
met the Indian leader alone, except for a few moments when
her Principal Secretary P.N. Dhar was present. "What exactly
went on I shall never know, but evidently it went well
enough...", he writes.

Moynihan nevertheless records that Gandhi began by
saying that she assumed that Kissinger wanted to talk about
the nuclear explosion conducted by India in May of that year.
"He (Kissinger) said yes, he wanted to talk about the bomb.
India had one now...its interest is now to see that others do
not get one."
"Flash from Damascus had come the Kissingerian command.
There was to be no statement. If asked, the spokesman might
reply, "The United States has always been against nuclear
proliferation for the adverse impact it will have on world
stability. That remains our position".

Strongly opposing the Richard
Nixon administration`s decision to rearm Pakistan in early
1974 after India conducted its first nuclear test, the then US
envoy in New Delhi had warned the White House that such a move
would be "devastating" for Indo-US ties.

As the White House decided to supply arms to Pakistan,
Moynihan
drafted a cable for the State Department warning that military
assistance to Pakistan will damage US-India relationship.

"Turning to CIA he (Kissinger) said that the United
States supported the Congress party. (A fact she must know, in
the past having taken our money. He would know that she would
know that he would know this)," he writes in the entry.

US wanted to pull out CIA
operations in India in 1974, but had to reverse the decision
just 30 days later as the Prime Minister`s Office wanted the
intelligence men to stay put in the country.

"I returned to the (US) Embassy (in New Delhi) and
wrote (Lawrence) Eagleburger (of the State Department) that my
proposal that we pull CIA out of here was `inoperative`. They
want us. Possibly they even want more of us," Moynihan wrote
in his journal on September 5, 1974 following his meeting with
P N Dhar, the Secretary to the then Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi and director of Indian intelligence.

It is not clear from the book titled "Daniel Patrick
Moynihan; A Portrait in Letter of an American Visionary" what
is the basis of the Ambassador`s account of the
Gandhi-Kissinger meeting since he himself records that he was
not present. At one point he uses the expression "if I
surmise correctly" about the exchanges between the two
leaders.

Asked about the allegation, Congress spokesman Manish
Tiwari said in New Delhi, "36 years later if somebody decides
to write a book, which contains unsubstantiated, derogatory
and malicious inferences we will not not like to dignify it
with a comment."

-PTI

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close