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Congress Undemocratic Ideology - 2
Financial Express Editoral: Stop this now!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>As the recent attempt by petroleum minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, (The Indian Express, September 15) has shown, appointments to PSU boards have nothing to do with merit. Instead, they have everything to do with a spoils’ system, with pork-barrel politics, where the effort is not to ensure best management practices, but to distribute favours. Never mind what happens to the PSU or to taxpayer money in the process. </b>

Where is the justification for appointing 20 Congress leaders to the boards of oil PSUs? If, as the minister proudly claims, these are ‘navaratnas,’ then this is the last thing he should be doing. <b>Unfortunately, he is not the only one guilty of such blatant misuse of his position. It is a common practice to hold out appointments to the boards of PSUs as a reward for favours rendered.</b> Another reason for quickly privatising these before they are run to the ground.

Mum’s the word for Mani Shankar Aiyar

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When Congress MP Rahul Gandhi asked Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to set up a petroleum training school in Rae Bareli—his mother Sonia Gandhi’s constituency—the Minister said it couldn’t be done. He quoted official consultants as saying it made little sense, there were no refineries nearby, no infrastructure, no power, no civic amenities.

Within two months, Aiyar swallowed all his words—after a letter from the mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia’s note (dated April 7) began, <b>‘‘I have seen your reply to Rahul...you may like to ensure that the project is not taken somewhere else...the necessary clearances would, of course, have to be undertaken by your ministry...I shall be grateful if I am kept informed about the progress being made on this matter.’’ </b>

Her order couldn’t be clearer.

So on May 7, Aiyar visited the site in Rae Bareli and got back to her four days later saying yes, it would surely be done. That his ministry was ‘‘taking steps to engage a consultant to re-study the proposal bearing in mind that the earlier report of (the consultants) is now quite outdated.’’ He has even scaled up the project from a mere training school over 11.6 acres—meant to provide technicians to the petroleum sector—to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology spread over 600 acres! Not just that, he has also revived an earlier plan to have a refinery nearby.

The funding? The time-tested tradition of milking PSUs. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd is the project leader and state-run oil companies—already complaining of mounting losses—have been told they have to contribute towards the institute as a proportion of their annual turnover.

‘‘I had not turned it down. I gathered all the information and sent it down,’’ Aiyar told The Sunday Express today. Asked about his U-turn, he said: ‘‘I went to the area to see for myself and found that there was enough land to build the institute.’’

<b>But official records show that Aiyar moved only after Sonia Gandhi’s letter to him. </b>

This despite the fact that the project has been a non-starter ever since the first proposal for a National Petroleum Technical School was floated in 1996 by then Petroleum Minister Captain Satish Sharma—he even laid the foundation stone. BPCL had then selected Chhatoh, in Rae Bareli, and bought 4 acres from UP State Industrial Development Corp.

However, the land was surrendered after Educational Consultants of India, which prepared the feasibility study for BPCL, said Rae Bareli ‘‘was not the most suitable of places compared to other locations.’’

Reasons: lack of proximity to refinery, petroleum installations, industrial concentration or potential for industrial development; inadequate power and water, faculty or facilities or even civic and medical amenities.

The proposal was modified to five such institutes in the five regions of the country but that, too, got shot down in 2000 when the oil industry expressed reservations about being able to provide employment to all those who would be trained at these institutes.

Asked why was he now expanding the scope of the training school to an institute, Aiyar said: ‘‘Oil ministers of Qatar and Saudi Arabia told me about the respect there is for Indian engineers. In Canada, I was told that there are not enough qualified engineers.’’

Aiyar's antics

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If they were concerned about the 'people' they would have admitted long ago that the 'Rs 2.5 lakh crores' invested in the public sector would have been much better spent on drinking water, electricity, roads, schools and hospitals. When it comes to these things there is never enough money but when it comes to subsidizing the public sector's endless losses thousands of crore rupees materialize out of nowhere. <b>Atal Behari Vajpayee was the only Prime Minister to make a serious effort to stop this criminal waste of public money but this  government has reversed this policy largely because Marxist MPs, without whose support the government would fall, share Mani Shankar's views except when it comes to West Bengal.</b> Their own Marxist government has no qualms about disinvestments but it is banned for the Sonia-Manmohan government in Delhi. This despite abundant evidence that politiciaans and bureaucrats make lousy businessmen especially in the services sector. The 'people' do not stay in hotels or they would have discovered the difference between government hotels and those run by the private sector.  The 'people' do not travel by air or they would have discovered the difference between state run airlines and those run by the private sector. The 'people' do not usually have enough money to open bank accounts or again they may have discovered long ago that the banks that were nationalized for their benefit still hesitate to give them loans but have no qualms about allowing government to get away with borrowings that would never have been allowed them if the banks were being run along proper commercial lines.

<b>The damage done by the public sector goes beyond the 'national wealth' we have squandered on it. Thanks to men like Mani Shankar Aiyer running the show the public sector developed a shoddy work ethic that defined India until the rise of the private sector in the past fifteen years showed the world that Indians could compete with the best when allowed to. The public sector cannot because its fundamental principle is that it is there to provide permanent employment to those lucky enough to have patrons in high places. Despite the high-minded nonsense we hear in defense of the public sector, to the ideologically unblinkered it should be clear that the raison d'etre of the public sector is patronage of the kind the Petroleum Minister sought to dispense to his Congress Party friends.</b>
Pages from the Book <b>`The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin</b>
The Special Relationship with India Part 1: The Supremacy of the Indian
National Congress The Third World country on which the KGB eventually concen¬trated most operational effort during the Cold War was India. Under Stalin,
however, India had been regarded as an imperialist puppet. The Great
Soviet Encyclopedia dismissed Mohandas Mahatma* Gandhi, who led India
to independence in 1947, as 'a reactionary….who betrayed the people
and helped the imperialists against them; aped the ascetics; pretended
in a demagogic way to be a supporter of Indian independence and an
enemy of the British; and widely exploited religious prejudice'.1
Despite his distaste for Stalinist attacks Jawaharlal Nehru, the first
Prime Minister of inde¬pendent India, 'had no doubt that the Soviet
revolution had advanced human society by a great leap and had lit a bright flame which could not be smothered'. Though later eulogized by Soviet writers as `a leader of international magnitude who ranked' among the best minds of the twentieth century.: Nehru was well aware that until Stalin's death in 1953 he, like Gandhi, was regarded as a reactionary. During the early years of Indian independence, secret correspondence from Moscow to the Communist Party of India (CP1) was frequently intercepted by the Intelligence Branch (IB) in New Delhi (as it had been when the IB was working for the British Raj). According to the head of the IB, B. N. Mullik, until the early 1950s every instruction that had issued from Moscow had expressed the necessity and importance [for] the Indian Com¬munist Party to overthrow the "reactionary11 Nehru Government. Early in 1951 Mullik gave Nehru a copy of the latest exhortations from Moscow to the CPI, which contained a warning that they must not fall into government hands. Nehru laughed out loud and remarked that Moscow apparently did not know how smart our Intelligence was.4

312 (Page nos)

Neither Nehru nor the IB, however, realized how thoroughly the Indian embassy in Moscow was being penetrated by the KGB, using its usual varieties of the honey trap. The Indian diplomat PROKHOR (code name given for the Indian by KGB) was recruited, probably in the early 1950s, with the help of a female swallow (a female Russian prostitute/spy), codenamed NEVEROVA, who presumably seduced him. The KGB was clearly pleased with the material which PROKHOR provided, which included on two occasions the embassy code-book and deciphering tables, since in 1954 it increased his monthly payments from 1,000 to 4,000 rupees. Another Indian diplomat, RADAR, was recruited in 1956, also with the assistance of a swallow, who on this occasion claimed (probably falsely) to be pregnant.6 A third KGB swallow persuaded a cipher clerk in the Indian embassy, ARTUR, to go heavily into debt in order to make it easier to compromise him. He was recruited as an agent in 1957 after being trapped (probably into illegal currency dealing) by a KGB officer posing as a black-marketeer.7 As a result of these and other pen¬etrations of the embassy, Soviet code breakers were probably able to decrypt substantial numbers of Indian diplomatic communications.

As KGB operations in India expanded during the 1950s and 1960s, the Centre seems to have discovered the extent of the IB's previous penetration of the CPI. According to a KGB report, an investigation into Promode Das Gupta, who became secretary of the Bengal Communist Party in 1959, concluded that he had been recruited by the IB in 1947.* Further significant IB penetrations were discovered in the Kerala and Madras parties.10 By the 1960s KGB penetration of the Indian intelligence community and other parts of its official bureaucracy had enabled it to turn the tables on the IB.11 After the KGB became the main conduit for both money and secret communications from Moscow, high-level IB penetration of the CPI (Communist Party of India) became much more difficult. As in other Communist parties, this secret channel was known only to a small inner circle within the leadership. In 1959 the CPI General Secretary, Ajoy Ghosh, agreed With the Delhi residency on plans to fund an import-export business for trade with the Soviet bloc, headed by a senior Party member codenamed DED, whose profits would be creamed off for "party funds". Within little more than a decade its annual profits had grown to over 3 million rupees. The Soviet news agency Novosti provided further subsidies by routinely paying the CPI publishing House at a rate 50 per cent above its normal charges

313 ASIA
Moscow's interest in Nehru was greatly enhanced by his emerg¬ence (together with Nasser and Tito) as one of the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement, which began to take shape at the Bandung Conference in 1955, An exchange of official visits in the same year by Nehru and Khrushchev opened a new era in Indo-Soviet relations. On his return from India in December, Khrushchev reported to the Presidium that he had received a warm welcome, but criticized the 'primitive1 portrayal of India in Soviet publications and films which demonstrated a poor grasp of Indian culture. Khrushchev was, how¬ever, clearly pleased with the intelligence and personal security pro¬vided by the KGB during his trip and proposed that the officers concerned be decorated and considered for salary increases

American reliance on Pakistan as a strategic counterweight to Soviet influence in Asia encouraged India to turn to the USSR. In 1956 Nehru declared that he had never encountered a 'grosser case of naked aggression' than the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt, but failed to condemn the brutal Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Uprising in the same year. India voted against a UN resolution calling for free elections in Hungary and the withdrawal of Soviet forces. The Kremlin increasingly valued Indian support as, with growing frequency, the Non-Aligned Movement tended to vote in the UN with the Soviet bloc rather than the West. During the 1960s India and the Soviet Union found further common cause against Mao's China.15

Within Nehru's Congress Party government the KGB set out to cultivate its leading left-wing firebrand and Nehru's close adviser, Krishna Menon, who became Minister of Defense in 1957 after spending most of the previous decade as, successively, Indian High Commissioner in London and representative at the United Nations. To the Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, 'It was…….plain that [Menon] was personally friendly to the Soviet Union. He would say to me heatedly: "You cannot imagine the hatred the Indian people felt and stiff feel to the colonialists, the British…… The methods used by American capital to exploit the backward countries may be oblique, but they're just as harsh."I6

In May 1962 the Soviet Presidium (which under Khrushchev replaced the Politburo) authorized the KGB residency in New Delhi to conduct active-measures operations designed to strengthen Menon's position in India and enhance his personal popularity,


probably in the hope that he would become Nehru's successor.17 During Menon's tenure of the Defense Ministry, India's main source of arms imports switched from the West to the Soviet Union. The Indian decision in the summer of 1962 to purchase MiG-21s rather than British Lightnings was due chiefly to Menon. The British High Commissioner in New Delhi reported to London, "Krishna Menon has from the beginning managed to surround this question with almost conspiratorial official and ministerial secrecy combined with a skilful putting about of stories in favour of the MiG and against Western aircraft".*18 Menon's career, however, was disrupted by the Chinese invasion of India in October 1961, Having failed to take the prospect of invasion seriously until the eve of the attack, Menon found himself made the scapegoat for Indians unpreparedness. Fol¬lowing the rout of Indian forces by the Chinese, Nehru reluctantly dismissed him on 31 October. A fortnight later, the Presidium autho¬rized active measures by the Delhi residency, including secret finance for a newspaper which supported Menon, in a forlorn attempt to resuscitate his political career.19 Though similar active measures by the KGB in Menon's favour before the 1967 election20 also had little observable effect, a secret message to Menon from the CPSU Central Committee (probably sent by its International Department) ex¬pressed appreciation for his positive attitude to the Soviet Union.21

KGB support did little to revive Menon's fortunes. Before he became Defense Minister, most of his political career had been spent outside India, including twenty eight years in Britain, where he had served for more than a decade as a Labour councilor in London. As a result, despite the personal support of some ardent disciples within the Congress Party (at least one of whom received substantial KGB funding)22 Menon lacked any real popular following in India itself. By the time he returned to India from foreign exiles the only language he spoke was English, he could no longer tolerate spicy Indian food and he preferred a tweed jacket and flannel trousers to traditional Indian dress. After failing to be denominated by Congress in his existing Bombay constituency for the 1967 election, Menon stood unsuccessfully as an independent. Two years later, with Communist support, he was elected as an independent in West Bengal. Some of the issues on which he campaigned suggest that he had been influenced by KGB active measures-as, for example, in his demand that American troops in Vietnam be tried for genocide and his claim

315 ASIA
that they were slitting open the wombs of pregnant women to expose their unborn babies.23 Well before his death in 1974, however Menon had ceased to be an influential voice in Indian politics.

Following Menon's political eclipse, Moscow's preferred candi¬date to succeed Nehru after his death in May 1964, was Gulzarilal Nanda, Home Minister and number two in the cabinet. The Delhi residency was ordered to do all it could to further his candidature but to switch support to Lai Bahadur Shastri, also a close associate of Nehru, if Nanda's campaign failed.24 There is no indication in the files noted by Mitrokhin that the KGB was in contact with either Nanda or Shastri. Moscow's main reason for supporting them was almost certainly, negative rather than positive-to prevent the right-wing Hindu traditionalist Morarji Desai, who began each day by drinking a glass of his own urine (a practice extolled in ancient Indian medical treatises), from succeeding Nehru. In the event, after Desai had been persuaded to withdraw reluctantly from the contest, Shastri became Prime Minister with the unanimous backing of Con¬gress. Following Shastri's sudden death in January 1966, the cabal of Congress leaders (the 'Syndicate') chose Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi (code named VANO by the KGB), as his successor in the mistaken belief that she would prove a popular figurehead whom they could manipulate at will.25

The KGB's first prolonged contact with Indira Gandhi had occurred during her first visit to the Soviet Union a few months after Stalin's death in 1953. As well as keeping her under continuous surveillance, the Second Chief Directorate also surrounded her with handsome, attentive male admirers.26 Unaware of the orchestration of her welcome by the KGB, Indira was overwhelmed by the atten¬tions lavished on her. Though she did not mention the male admirers in letters to her father, she wrote to him, "Everybody- the Russians -have been so sweet to me... I am being treated like everybody's only daughter- I shall be horribly spoilt by the time I leave. Nobody has ever been so nice to me.' Indira wrote of a holiday arranged for her on the Black Sea, `I don't think I have had such a holiday for years'. Later, in Leningrad, she told Nehru that she was 'wallowing in luxury. Two years later Indira accompanied her father on his first official visit to the Soviet Union. Like Nehru, she was visibly impressed by the apparent successes of Soviet planning and economic moderniz¬ation exhibited to them in carefully stage-managed visits to Russian

factories. During her trip, Khrushchev presented her with a mink coat which became one of the favorite items in her wardrobe -despite the fact that a few years earlier she had criticized the female Indian ambassador in Moscow for accepting a similar gift.28

Soviet attempts to cultivate Indira Gandhi during the 1950s were motivated far more by the desire to influence her father than by any awareness of her own political potential. Like both the Congress Syndicate and the CPI, Moscow still underestimated her when she became Prime Minister. During her early appearances in parliament, Mrs. Gandhi seemed tongue-tied and unable to think on her feet. The insulting nickname coined by a socialist MP, 'Dumb Doll' began to stick.29 Moscow's strategy during 1966 for the Indian elections in the following year was based on encouraging the CPI and the breakaway Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM) to join together in a left-wing alliance to oppose Mrs. Gandhi and the Congress government.30 As well as subsidizing the CPI and some other left-wing groups during the 1967 election campaign, the KGB also funded the campaigns of several agents and confidential contacts within Congress. The most senior agent identified in the files noted by Mitrokhin was a minister codenamed ABAD, who was regarded by theKGB as 'extremely influential'.31

During the election campaign, the KGB also made considerable use of active measures, many of them based on forged American docu¬ments produced by Service A. An agent in the information depart¬ment of the US embassy in New Delhi, codenamed MIKHAIL, provided examples of documents and samples of signatures to assist in the production of convincing forgeries.32 Among the operations officers who publicized the forgeries produced for the 1967 election campaign was Yuri Modin, former controller of the Cambridge 'Magnificent Five'. In an attempt to discredit S, K. Patil, one of the leading anti-Communists in the Congress Syndicate, Modin cir¬culated a forged letter from the US consul-general in Bombay to the American ambassador in New Delhi referring to Patil's political intrigues with the Pakistanis' and to the large American subsidies supposedly given to him. Though Patil was one of the most senior Congress politicians defeated at the election, it remains difficult to assess how much his defeat owed to KGB active measures.33 Modin also publicized a bogus telegram to London from the British High Commissioner, John Freeman, reporting

317 ASIA
that the United States was giving vast sums to right-wing parties and politicians. The fact that the KGB appears to have had no agent like MIKHAIL in the High Commission, however, led Service A on this occasion to make an embarrassing error. Its forgery mis¬takenly described the British High Commissioner as Sir John Freeman.34

Other Service A fabrications had much greater success. Among them was a forged letter purporting to come from Gordon Goldstein of the US Office of Naval Research and revealing the existence of (in reality non-existent) American bacteriological warfare weapons in Vietnam and Thailand. Originally published in the Bombay `Free Press Journal', the letter was reported in the London `Times' on 7 March 1968 and used by Moscow Radio in broadcasts beamed at Asia as proof that the United States had spread epidemics in Viet¬nam. The Indian weekly `Blitz' headlined a story based on the same forgery, `US Admits Biological and Nuclear Warfare'. Goldstein's signature and official letterhead were subsequently discovered to have been copied from an invitation to an international scientific symposium circulated by him the previous year.35

After the elections of February 1967, the KGB claimed, doubtless optimistically, that it was able to influence 30 to 40 per cent of the new parliament.36 Congress lost 21 per cent of its seats. The conflict between Indira Gandhi and her chief rival Morarji Desai made its forty-four-seat majority precarious and obliged her to accept Desai as Deputy Prime Minister. By 1968 Desai and Kamaraj, the head of the Syndicate, were agreed on the need to replace Mrs. Gandhi.37 Congress was moving inexorably towards a split.

During 1969 there were major policy reorientations in both Moscow and Delhi. The growing threat from China persuaded the Kremlin to make a special relationship with India the basis of its South Asian policy. Simultaneously, Mrs. Gandhi set out to secure left-wing support against the Syndicate. In July 1969 she national¬ized fourteen commercial banks. Desai was sacked as Finance Minis¬ter and resigned as Deputy Prime Minister- Encouraged by Moscow, the CPI swung its support behind Mrs. Gandhi. By infiltrating its members and sympathizers into the left-wing Congress Forum for Socialist Action (codenamed SECTOR by the KGB), the CPI set out to gain a position of influence within the ruling party.38 In November the Syndicate declared Mrs. Gandhi guilty of defiance of

the Congress leadership and dismissed her from the: parry, which then split in two: Congress (O), which followed the Syndicate line, and Congress ®, which supported Mrs. Gandhi. The Syndicate hinted that Mrs. Gandhi intended to "sell1 India to the Soviet Union and was using her principal private secretary, Parmeshwar Narain Haksar, as a direct link with Moscow and the Soviet embassy.39

From 1967 to 1973 Haksar, a former protégé of Krishna Menon, was Mrs.
Gandhi's most trusted adviser. One of her biographers, Katherine
Frank, describes him as 'a magnetic figure1 who became 'probably the
most influential and powerful person in the govern¬ment' as well as
'the most important civil servant in the country'. Haksar set out to
turn a civil service which^ at least in principle, was politically
neutral into an ideologically 'committed bureaucracy1. His was the
hand that guided Mrs. Gandhi through her turn to the left, the
nationalization of the banks and the split in the Congress Party, It
was Haksar also who was behind the transfer of control of the
intelligence community to the Prime Minister's Secretariat.40 His
advocacy of the leftward turn in Mrs. Gandhi's policies sprang,
however, from his socialist convictions rather than from manipu¬lation
by the KGB. But both he and Mrs. Gandhi 'were less fastidious than
Nehru had been about interfering with the democratic system and
structure of government to attain their ideological ends.41 The
journalist Inder Malhotra noted the growth of a `courtier culture' in
Indira Gandhi's entourage: 'The power centre in the world's largest
democracy was slowly turning into a durbar.42
At the elections of February 1971 Mrs. Gandhi won a landslide victory.
With seventy seats more than the undivided Congress had won in 1967,
her Congress ® had a two-thirds majority. The Congress Forum for
Socialist Action had the support of about 100 MPs in the new
parliament. Mrs. Gandhi made its most vocal spokes¬man, the former
Communist Mohan Kumaramangalam, Minister of Mines; one of his first
acts was the nationalization of the coal industry. Kumaramangalam
seemed to be implementing a 'thesis' which he had first argued in
1964: that since the CPI could not win power by itself, as many of its
members and sympathizers as possible should join the Congress, make
common cause with 'progressive' Congressmen and compel the party
leadership to implement socialist policies.43 Another leading figure
in the Congress Forum for Socialist Action was recruited in 1971 as
Agent RERO and paid about

319 ASIA

100,000 rupees a year for what the KGB considered important political
intelligence as well as acting as an agent recruiter. His controllers
included the future head of the FCD, Leonid Shebarshin (codenamed

In August 1971 Mrs. Gandhi signed a Treaty of Peace, Friendship and
Co-operation with the Soviet Union, According to the Perma¬nent
Secretary at the Indian Foreign Office, T.N. Kaul, it was one of the
few closely guarded secret negotiations that India has ever conducted.
On (the Indian) side, hardly half a dozen people were aware of it,
including the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. The media got
no scent of it.45 A delighted Gromyko declared at the signing
ceremony, `The significance of the Treaty cannot be over-estimated.'
Mrs. Gandhi's popularity among the Soviet people, he later claimed,
was demonstrated by the large number of Soviet babies who were given
the unusual name Indira.45 The Soviet Union seemed to be guaranteed
the support of the leading power in the Non-Aligned Movement. Both
countries immediately issued a joint communiqué calling for the
withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. India was able to rely on Soviet
arms supplies and diplomatic support in the conflict against Pakistan
which was already in the offing. According to Leonid Shebarshin, who
was posted to New Delhi as head of Line PR (political intelligence) at
a time when 'Soviet mili¬tary Technology was flowing into India in an
endless stream', the Centre- unlike many in the Foreign Ministry
-concluded that war was inevitable. Shebarshin realized that war had
begun when the lights went out in the middle of a diplomatic reception
at the Soviet embassy on 2 December. Looking out of the window,
Shebarshin saw that the power cut affected the whole of the capital.
Leaving the embassy hurriedly, he drove to a phone box some way away
to ring a member of the residency's agent network who confirmed that
hostilities had started.47 Another member of the network arranged a
meeting between Shebarshin and a senior Indian military commander:

It would fit an understatement to say that the general's mood was
optimis¬tic. He knew precisely when and how the war would end: on 16
December with the surrender of Dacca [later renamed Dhaka] and
capitulation of the Pakistani army [in East Pakistan] . , . They were
in no stare to resist and would not defend Dacca, because they had no
one from whom to expect


help. "We know the Pakistani army, my interlocutor said, `Any
professional soldiers would behave the same way in their place.48

Despite diplomatic support from both the United States and China,
Pakistan suffered a crushing defeat in the fourteen-day war with
India. East Pakistan gained independence as Bangladesh, West
Paki¬stan, reduced to a nation of only 55 million people, could no
longer mount a credible challenge to India. For most Indians it was
Mrs. Gandhi's finest hour. A Soviet diplomat at the United Nations
exulted, `This is the first time in history that the United States and
China have been defeated together.49

In the Centre, the Indo-Soviet special relationship was also
cele¬brated as a triumph for the KGB. The residency in New Delhi was
rewarded by being upgraded to the status of 'main residency'. Its head
from 1970 to i975, Yakov Prokofyevich Medyanik, was accorded the title
of `main resident', while the heads of Lines PR (political
intelligence), KR (counter-intelligence) and X (scientific and
technological intelligence] were each given the rank of resident -
not, as elsewhere, deputy resident. Medyanik also had overall
supervision of three other residencies, located in the Soviet
consul¬ates at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, In the early 1970s, the
KGB presence in India became one of the largest in the world outside
the Soviet bloc, Indira Gandhi placed no limit on the number of Soviet
diplomats and trade officials, thus allowing the KGB and GRU as many
cover positions as they wished- Nor, like many other states, did India
object to admitting Soviet intelligence officers who had been expelled
by less hospitable regimes.50 The expansion of KGB operations in the
Indian subcontinent (and first and foremost in India) during the early
1970s led the FCD to create a new depart¬ment. Hitherto operations
in India, as in the rest of non-Communist South and South-East Asia,
had been the responsibility of the Seventh Department. In 1974 the
newly founded Seventeenth Department was given charge of the Indian

Oleg Kalugin, who became head of FCD Directorate K
(Counter-intelligence) in 1973, remembers India as `a model of KGB
infil¬tration of a Third World government': `We had scores of
sources throughout the Indian government - in intelligence,
counter-intelligence, the Defense and Foreign Ministries, and the
police.52 In Directorate K, whose responsibilities included the

311 ASIA
of foreign intelligence and security agencies, was running, through
Line KR in the Indian residencies, over thirty agents — ten of whom
were Indian intelligence officers. 53 Kalugin recalls one occasion on
which Andropov personally turned down an offer from an Indian minister
to provide information in return for $50,000 on the grounds that the
KGB was already well supplied with material from the Indian Foreign
and Defense Ministries. It seemed like the entire country was for
sale; the KGB-and the CIA -had deeply penetrated the Indian
government. After a while neither side entrusted sensitive information
to the Indians, realizing their enemy would know all about it the next

The KGB, in Kalugin's view, was more successful than the CIA, partly
because or its skill in exploiting the corruption which became endemic
under Indira Gandhi's regime.54 As Inder Malhotra noted, though
corruption was not new in India.

People expected Indira Gandhi's party, committed to bringing socialism
to the country, to be more honest and cleaner than the old undivided
Congress, But this turned our to be a vain hope. On the contrary,
compared with the amassing of wealth by some of her close associates,
the misdeeds of the discarded Syndicate leaders once looked upon as
godfathers of corrupt Congressmen, began to appear trivial.

Suitcases full of banknotes were said to be routinely taken to the
Prime Minister's house. Former Syndicate member 5. K. Patil is
reported to have said that Mrs. Gandhi did not even return the
suitcases. 55

The Prime Minister is unlikely to have paid close attention to the
dubious origins of some of the funds which went into Congress's
coffers. That was a matter which she left largely to her principal
fundraiser, Lalit Narayan Mishra, who - though she doubtless did not
realize it also accepted Soviet money.56 On at least one occasion 3
secret gift of 2 million rupees from the Politburo to Congress ® was
personally delivered after midnight by the head of Line PR in New
Delhi, Leonid Shebarshin. Another million rupees were given on the
same occasion to a newspaper which supported Mrs. Gandhi.57 Short and
obese with several chins, Mishra looked the part of the corrupt
politician he increasingly became. Indira Gandhi, despite her own
frugal lifestyle, depended on the money he collected from a variety


of sources to finance Congress ®. So did her son and anointed heir,
Sanjay, whose misguided ambition to build an Indian popular car and
become India's Henry Ford depended on government favours, When Mishra
was assassinated in 1975, Mrs. Gandhi blamed a plot involving 'foreign
elements', a phrase which she doubtless intended as a euphemism for
the CIA.58 The New Delhi main residency gave his widow 70,000 rupees
from its active-measures budget.59 Though there were some complaints
from the CP1 leadership at the use of Soviet funds to support Mrs.
Gandhi and Congress ®,60 covert funding for the CP1 seems to have
been unaffected. By 1972 the import-export business founded by the
CPI a decade earlier to trade with the Soviet Union had contributed
more than 10 million rupees to Party funds. Other secret subsidies,
totaling at least 1.5 million rupees, had gone to state Communist
parties, indivi¬duals and media associated with the CPI.61 The funds
which were sent from Moscow to Party headquarters via the KGB were
larger still. In the first six months of 1975 alone they amounted to
over 2.5 million rupees.62

In the mid-1970s Soviet funds for the CPI were passed by oper¬ations
officers of the New Delhi main residency to a senior member of the
Party's National Council codenamed BANKIR at a number of different
locations. The simplest transfers of funds occurred when KGB officers
under diplomatic cover had a pretext to visit BANKIR's office, such as
his briefings for visiting press delegations from the Soviet bloc.
Other arrangements, however, were much more complex- One file noted by
Mitrokhin records a fishing expedition to a lake not far from Delhi
arranged to provide cover for a transfer of funds to BANKIR.
Shebarshin and two operations officers from the main residency left
the embassy at 6.30 a.m., arrived at about 8 a.m. and spent two and a
half hours fishing. At 10.30 a.m. they left the lake and headed to an
agreed rendezvous point with BANKIR, making visual contact with his
car at 11.15. As the residency car overtook his on a section of the
road which could not be observed from either side, packages of
banknotes were passed through the open window of BANKlR's car.63
Rajeshwar Rao, general secretary of the CPI from 1964 to 1990,
subsequently provided receipts for the sums received. Further
substantial sums went to the Communist-Led All-India Congress of Trade
Unions, headed by S. A, Dange.64

323 ASIA

India under Indira Gandhi was also probably the arena for more KGB
active measures than anywhere else in the world, though their
significance appears to have been considerably exaggerated by the
Centre, which overestimated its ability to manipulate Indian opinion.
According to KGB files, by 1973 it had ten Indian newspapers on its
payroll (which cannot be identified for legal reasons) as well as a
press agency under its control.65 During 1972 the KGB claimed to have
planted 3,789 articles in Indian newspapers - probably more than in
any other country in the non-Communist world. According to its files,
the number fell to 2,760 in 1973 but rose to 4,486 in 1974 and 5,510
in 1975.66 In some major NATO countries, despite active-measures
campaigns, the KGB was able to plant little more than 1 per cent of
the articles which it placed in the Indian press.67

Among the KGB's leading confidential contacts in the press was one of
India's most influential journalists, codenamed NOK, Re¬cruited as a
confidential contact in 1976 by A. A. Arkhipov, NOK was subsequently
handled by two Line PR officers operating under journalistic cover:
first A. I. Khaehaturian, officially a Trud corre¬spondent, then V. N.
Cherepakhin of the Novosti news agency. NOK's file records that he
published material favorable to the Soviet Union and provided
information on the entourage of Indira Gandhi. Contact with him ceased
in 1980 as a result of his deteriorat¬ing health,68 Though not
apparently aware of the KGB's involvement in the active-measures
campaign, P. N. Dhar believed that the left was ^manipulating the
press ... to keep Mrs. Gandhi committed to their ideological line'.69
India was also one of the most favorable environments for Soviet
front organizations. From 1966 to 1986 the head of the most important
of them, the World Peace Council (WPC), was the Indian Communist
Romesh Chandra. In his review of the 1960s at the WPC-sponsored World
Peace Congress I, Chandra denounced 'the US-dominated NATO' as `the
greatest threat to peace' across the world.' The fangs of NATO can
be felt in Asia and Africa as well [as Europe]… The forces of
imperialism and exploitation, particularly NATO . .. bear the
responsibility for the hunger and poverty of hundreds of millions all
over the world.70

The KGB was also confident of its ability to organize mass
demon¬strations in Delhi and other major cities. In 1969, for example
Andropov informed the Politburo, `The KGB residency in India has


the opportunity to organize a protest demonstration of up to 20,000
Muslims in front of the US embassy in India- The cost of the
demon¬stration would be 5,000 rupees and would be covered in the . . .
budget for special tasks in India. I request consideration.
Brezhnev wrote 'Agreed' on Andropov's request.71 In April 1971, two
months after Mrs. Gandhi's landslide election victory, the Politburo
approved the establishment of a secret fund of 1.5 million convertible
rubles (codenamed DEPO) to fund active-measures operations in India
over the next four years.72 During that period KGB reports from New
Delhi claimed on slender evidence, to have assisted the success of
Congress ® in elections to state assemblies.73

Among the most time-consuming active measures implemented by Leonid
Shebarshin as head of Line PR were the preparations for Brezhnev's
state visit in 1973. As usual it was necessary to ensure that the
General Secretary was received with what appeared to be rapturous
enthusiasm and to concoct evidence that his platitudinous speeches
were hailed as 'major political statements of tremendous importance.74
Since Brezhnev was probably the dreariest orator among the world's
major statesmen this was no easy task, particu¬larly when he traveled
outside the Soviet bloc. Soviet audiences were used to listening
respectfully to his long-winded utterances and to bursting into
regular, unwarranted applause. Indian audiences, however, lacked the
experience of their Soviet counterparts. Brezh¬nev would have been
affronted by any suggestion that he deliver only a short address,
since he believed in a direct correlation between the length of a
speech and the prestige of the speaker. His open-air speech in the
great square in front of Delhi's famous Red Fort, where Nehru had
declared Indian independence twenty-six years earlier, thus presented
a particular challenge. According to possibly inflated KGB
estimates, 2 million people were present - perhaps the largest
audience to whom Brezhnev had ever spoken. As Shebarshin later
acknowledged, the speech was extraordinarily long winded and heavy
going. The embassy had made matters even worse by translat¬ing the
speech into a form of high Hindi which was incomprehensible to most of
the audience. As the speech droned on and night began to fall, some of
the audience started to drift away but, according to Shebarshin, were
turned back by the police for fear of offending the Soviet leader.
Though even Brezhnev sensed that not all was well, he was later
reassured by the practiced sycophants in his entourage.

325 ASIA

Shebarshin was able to persuade both himself and the Centre that the visit as a whole had been a great success.75 The KGB claimed much of the credit for 'creating favorable conditions' for Brezhnev's Indian triumph.76

Leonid Shebarshin's perceived success in active measures as head of Line PR almost certainly helps to explain his promotion to the post of main resident in 1975 and launched him on a career which in 1988 took him to the leadership of the FCD. In a newspaper interview after his retirement from the KGB, Shebarshin spoke 'nos¬talgically about the old days, about disinformation - forging docu¬ments, creating sensations for the press'. It was doubtless his days in India which he had chiefly in mind.77 Among the KGB's most successful active measures were those which claimed to expose CIA plots in the subcontinent. The Centre was probably right to claim the credit for persuading Indira Gandhi that the Agency was plotting her overthrow.78 In November 1973 she told Fidel Castro at a banquet in New Delhi, "What they (the CIA) have done to Allende they want to do to me also. There are people here, connected with the same foreign forces that acted in Chile, who would like to eliminate me." She did not question Castro's (and the KGB's) insistence that Allende had been murdered in cold blood by Pinochet's US-backed troops. The belief that the Agency had marked her out for the same fate as Allende became something of an obsession. In an obvious reference to (accurate) American claims that, in reality, Allende had turned his gun on himself during the storming of his palace, Mrs. Gandhi declared, 'When I am murdered, they will say I arranged it myself.79

Mrs. Gandhi was also easily persuaded that the CIA, rather than the mistakes of her own administration, was responsible for the growing opposition to her government. Early in 1974 riots in Gujarat, which killed over 100 people, led to 8,000 arrests and caused the dissolution of the State Assembly, reinforced her belief In an American conspiracy against her.80 Irritated by a series of speeches by Mrs. Gandhi denouncing the ever-present menace of CIA subversion, the US ambassador in New Delhi, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ordered an investigation which uncovered two occasions during her father's premiership when the CIA had secretly provided funds to help the Communists' opponents in state elections, once in Kerala (money provided to the christian church for the `Vimochana Samaram'-my comment) and once in West Bengal- According to Moynihan:


Both times the money was given to the Congress Party which had asked for it- Once it was given to Mrs. Gandhi herself, who was then a party official.

Still, as we were no longer giving any money to her it was understandable that she should wonder to whom we were giving it. It is not a practice to be encouraged.81

A brief visit to India by Henry Kissinger in October 1974 provided another opportunity for a KGB active-measures campaign. Agents of influence were given further fabricated stories about CIA con¬spiracies to report to the Prime Minister and other leading figures in the government and parliament. The KGB claimed to have planted over seventy stories in the Indian press condemning CIA subversion as well as initiating letter-writing and poster campaigns. The Delhi main residency claimed that, thanks to its campaign, Mrs. Gandhi had raised the question of CIA operations in India during her talks with Kissinger.82

On 28 April 1975 Andropov approved a further Indian active-measures operation to publicize fabricated evidence of CIA subver¬sion. Sixteen packets containing incriminating material prepared by Service A on three CIA officers stationed under diplomatic cover at the US embassy were sent anonymously by the Delhi residency to the media and gave rise to a series of articles in the Indian press. According to KGB files, Mrs. Gandhi sent a personal letter to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, enclosing some of the KGB's forged CIA documents and a series of articles in Indian newspapers which had been taken in by them. The same files report that Mrs. Bandaranaike concluded that CIA subversion posed such a serious threat to Sri Lanka that she set up a committee of investigation.83

One of Mrs. Gandhi's critics, Piloo Moody, ridiculed her obsession with CIA subversion by wearing around his neck a medallion with the slogan, `I am a CIA agent'.84 For Mrs. Gandhi, however, the Agency was no laughing matter. By the summer of 1975 her suspicions of a vast conspiracy by her political opponents, aided and abetted by the CIA, had, in the opinion of her biographer Katherine Frank, grown to 'something close to paranoia'. Her mood was further darkened on 12 June by a decision of the Allahabad High Court, against which she appealed, invalidating her election as MP

327 ASIA
on the grounds of irregularities in the 1971 elections. A fortnight later she persuaded both the President and the cabinet to agree to the declaration of a state of emergency. In a broadcast to the nation on India Radio on 26 June, Mrs. Gandhi declared that a 'deep and widespread conspiracy' had been brewing ever since 1 began to introduce certain progressive measures of benefit to the common man and woman of India'. Opposition leaders were jailed or put under house arrest and media censorship introduced. In the first year of the emergency, according to Amnesty International, more than 1,10,000 people were arrested and detained without trial.85

Reports from the New Delhi main residency, headed from 1975 to 1977 by Leonid Shebarshin, claimed (probably greatly exaggerated) credit for using its agents of influence to persuade Mrs. Gandhi to declare the emergency.86 The CPI Central Executive Committee voiced its 'firm opinion that the swift and stern measures taken by the Prime Minister and the government of India against the right-reactionary and counter-revolutionary forces were necessary and justified. Any weakness displayed at this critical moment would have been fatal. Predictably, it accused the CIA of supporting the counter-revolutionary conspiracy.87 KGB active measures adopted the same line.88 The assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and much of his family in Bangladesh on 14 August further fuelled Mrs. Gandhi's conspiracy theories. Behind their murders she saw once again the hidden hand of the CIA.89

According to Shebarshin, both the Centre and the Soviet leader¬ship found it difficult to grasp that the emergency had not turned Indira Gandhi into a dictator and that she still responded to public opinion and had to deal with opposition: 4On the spot, from close up, the embassy and our [intelligence] service saw all this, but for Moscow "Indira became India, and India - Indira." Reports from the New Delhi residency which were critical of any aspect of her policies received a cool reception in the Centre. Shebarshin thought it unlikely that any were forwarded to Soviet leaders or the Central Committee. Though Mrs. Gandhi was fond of saying in private that states have no constant friends and enemies, only constant interests, "At times Moscow behaved as though India had given a pledge of love and loyalty to her Soviet friends. Even the slightest hiccup in relations caused consternation.90 During 1975 a total of 10.6 million rubles was spent on active measures in India designed to strengthen


support for Mrs. Gandhi and undermine her political opponents.91 Soviet backing was public as well as covert. In June 1976, at a time when Mrs. Gandhi suffered from semi-pariah status in most of the West, she was given a hero's welcome during a trip to the Soviet Union. On the eve of her arrival a selection of her speeches, articles and interviews was published in Russian translation.92 She attended meetings in her honour in cities across the Soviet Union.93 The visit ended, as it had begun, in a mood of mutual self-congratulation.

The Kremlin, however, was worried by reports of the dismissive attitude to the Soviet Union of Indira's son and anointed heir, Sanjay, an admirer of Ferdinand Marcos, the corrupt anti-Communist Presi¬dent of the Philippines.94 Reports reached P. N. Dhar (and, almost certainly, the New Delhi main residency) that one of Sanjay's cronies was holding regular meetings with a US embassy official `in a very suspicious manner'. Soon after his mother's return from her trium¬phal tour of the Soviet Union, Sanjay gave an interview in which he praised big business, denounced nationalization and poured scorn on the Communists. Probably annoyed by complaints of his own corruption, he said of the CPI, I don't think you'd find a richer or more corrupt people anywhere. By her own admission, Indira became 'quite frantic' when his comments were made public, telling Dhar that her son had 'grievously hurt' the CPI and 'created serious problems with the entire Soviet bloc. Sanjay was persuaded to issue a 'clarification' which fell well short of a retraction.95

The emergency ended as suddenly as it had begun. On 18 January 1977 Mrs. Gandhi announced that elections would be held in March. Press censorship was suspended and opposition leaders released from house arrest. The New Delhi main residency, like Mrs. Gandhi, was overconfident about the outcome at the election. To ensure suc¬cess it mounted a major operation, codenamed KASKAD, involving over 120 meetings with agents during the election campaign. Nine of the Congress ® candidates at the elections were KGB agents.96 Files noted by Mitrokhin also identify by name twenty-one of the non-Communist politicians (four of them ministers) whose election campaigns were subsidized by the KGB.97 The Soviet media called for 'unity of action of all the democratic forces and particularly the ruling Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India.98 Repeated pressure was put on the CPI leadership by both New Delhi main residency and Moscow to ensure its support

329 ASIA

for Mrs. Gandhi. The CPI General Secretary, Rajeshwar Rao, and the Secretary of the Party's National Council, N. K. Krishna, were summoned to the Soviet embassy on 12 February to receive a mes¬sage of exhortation from the CPSU Central Committee. Further exhortations were delivered in person on 15 February by a three-man Soviet delegation. KGB files report Rao and Krishna as saying that they greatly appreciated the advice of their Soviet colleagues and were steadfast in their support for Mrs. Gandhi.99 Their appreciation also reflected the unusually high level of Soviet subsidies during the CPI election campaign-over 3 million rupees in the first two months of 1977.100

Agent reports reinforced the New Delhi main residency's confi¬dence that Indira Gandhi would secure another election victory. Reports that she faced the possibility of defeat in her constituency were largely disregarded.101 In the event Mrs. Gandhi suffered a crushing defeat, Janata, the newly united non-Communist oppo¬sition, won 40 per cent of the vote to Congress ®'s 35 per cent. One of the KGB's betes noires, Morarji Desai, became Prime Minis¬ter. When the election result was announced, writes Mrs. Gandhi's biographer, Katherine Frank, 'India rejoiced as it had not done since the eve of independence from the British thirty years before. In Delhi, Mrs. Gandhi's downfall was celebrated with dancing in the streets.102

The Special Relationship with India Part 2;
The Decline and Fall of Congress

The result of the Indian elections of March 1977 caused shock and consternation in both the Centre and the New Delhi main residency. Leonid Shebarshin, the main resident, was hurriedly recalled to Moscow for consultations.' As well as fearing the political consequence of Mrs. Gandhi's defeat, the Centre was also embarrassed by the way the election demonstrated to the Soviet leadership the limitations of its much-vaunted active-measures campaigns and its supposed ability to manipulate Indian politics. The FCD report on its intelligence failure was largely an exercise in self-justification. It stressed that an election victory by Mrs. Gandhi had also been widely predicted by both Western and Indian observers (including the Indian intelligence community), many of whom had made even greater errors than itself. The report went on to explain the FCD's own mistakes by claiming that the extreme diversity of the huge Indian electorate and the many divisions along family, caste, ethnic, religious, class and party lines made accurate prediction of voting behavior almost impossible. This was plainly special pleading. The Complexities of Indian politics could not provide a credible expla¬nation for the failure by the KGB (and other observers) to compre¬hend the collapse of support for Mrs. Gandhi in the entire Hindi belt, the traditional Congress stronghold, where it won only two seats, and its reduction to a regional party of South India, where it remained in control.

The FCD also argued, in its own defense, that Mrs. Gandhi's previous determination to hold on to power had made it reasonable to expect that she would refuse to surrender it in March 1977, and would be prepared if necessary either to fix the election results or to declare them null and void (as, it alleged, Sanjay's cronies were urging). Indeed the FCD claimed that on 20 March, when the results

331 ASIA
were announced, Mrs. Gandhi had tried to prevent the Janata Party taking power but had been insufficiently decisive and failed to get the backing of the army high command. There was no substance to these claims, which probably originated in the Delhi rumour mill then working overtime, and were passed on to the KGB by its large network of agents and confidential contacts. Contrary to reports to Moscow from the New Delhi main residency, the transfer of power after the election was swift and orderly. In the early hours of 21 March Mrs. Gandhi summoned a short and perfunctory cabinet meeting, where she read out her letter of resignation, which was approved by the cabinet with only minor changes. At 4 am, she was driven to the home of the acting President, B. D. Jatti, and submitted her resignation. Jatti was so taken aback that, until prompted by Dhar, he forgot to ask Mrs. Gandhi to stay on as acting Prime Minister until the formation of
the next government.

The tone of the Soviet media changed immediately after the Indian election. It blamed the defeat of Mrs. Gandhi, hitherto virtually free from public criticism, on 'mistakes and excesses' by her government. Seeking to exempt the CPI from blame, a commentator in Izvestia claimed, 'It is indicative that Congress Party candidates were most successful in places where a pre-election arrangement existed between the Congress and the Communist Party of India, or where the Communist Party, with no official encouragement, actively sup¬ported progressive candidates of the Congress Party'. In reality the election was a disaster for the CPI as well as for Congress. Dragged down by the unpopularity of the Indira Gandhi regime, it lost all but seven of the twenty-five seats it had won in 1971, while its rival, the breakaway Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM), won twenty-two. The Centre responded cautiously to the landslide vic¬tory of a CPM-led coalition in state elections in West Bengal in June 1977. Though Andropov was eager to set up covert communications with the new state government, he was anxious not to offend the CPI. It was therefore agreed after discussions between Shebarshin (recently promoted to become deputy head of the FCD Seventeenth Department) and a senior CPSU official that, though KGB officers could make contact with CPM leaders, they must claim to be doing so on a purely personal basis. According to FCD files, 'important information' about CPM policy was obtained by the Delhi main residency from its contacts with Party leaders.


The KGB's main priority during the early months of the Janata government was damage limitation. In the course of the campaign Morarji Desai had charged Mrs. Gandhi with doing 'whatever the Soviet Union does' and declared that, under a Janata government, the Indo-Soviet treaty might 'automatically go'. The Centre feared 4a reinforcement of reactionary anti-Soviet forces'.6 On 24 March the Politburo approved an FCD directive 'On measures in connec¬tion with the results of the parliamentary elections in India*, whose main objectives were to preserve the Friendship Treaty and to deter Janata from seeking a rapprochement with the United States and China.7 Though the Desai government did set out to improve re¬lations with the United States and China, the Indo-Soviet treaty survived. A joint communiqué after a visit by Gromyko to New Delhi in April committed both countries to `the further strengthening of equal and mutually beneficial co-operation in the spirit of the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Co-operation'. In August the Politburo approved a directive on KGB active measures entitled 'On measures to influence the ruling circles of India in new conditions to the advantage of the USSR'.9
The 'new conditions' of Janata rule made active-measures cam¬paigns more difficult than before. Articles planted by the KGB in the Indian press declined sharply from 1,980 in 1976 to 411 in 1977.m The Centre, however, continued to make exaggerated claims for the success of its active measures in making the Janata govern¬ment suspicious of American and Chinese policy.11 The New Delhi main residency also claimed in June 1978 that it had succeeded in discrediting the Home Minister, Charan Singh, Indira Gandhi's most outspoken opponent in the Janata government, and forcing his dis¬missal.12 In reality, Singh's dismissal was due to the fact that he had accused Desai and other ministers of being 'a collection of impotent men' because of their failure to bring Mrs. Gandhi to trial.11 He was later to return to the government and briefly succeeded Desai as Prime Minister in the later months of 1979.

The March 1977 KGB directive approved by the Politburo had in¬structed the Delhi main residency to 'influence Mrs. Gandhi to renew the Indian National Congress on a democratic (left-wing] basis'. In order not to offend the Janata government, the Soviet embassy was wary of maintaining official contact with Mrs. Gandhi after her election defeat.14 Instead, the Delhi main residency re-established covert

333 ASIA
contact with her through an operations officer, Viktor Nikolayevicli Cherepakhin (codenamed VLADI.EN), operating under cover as a Trud correspondent, though there is no evidence that she realized he was from the KGB. The residency also set up an active-measures fund codenamed DEPO in an attempt to buy influence within the Committee for Democratic Action founded by Mrs. Gandhi and some of her supporters in May 1977. Though there is no evidence that Mrs. Gandhi knew of its existence, the fund had available in July 275,000 convertible rubles.1 On New Year's Day 1978 Mrs. Gandhi instigated a second split in the Congress Party. She and her followers, the majority of the party, reconstituted themselves as Congress (I) - I for Indira. Though she eventually admitted that things 'did get a little out of hand' during the emergency, she con¬tinued to insist that Janata's election victory owed much to `foreign help'. The movement against us, she declared, 'was engineered by outside forces'.10 As usual, Mrs. Gandhi doubtless had the CIA in mind.

Janata's fragile unity, which had been made possible during the 1977 election campaign only by common hostility to Indira Gandhi, failed to survive the experience of government. At the general elec¬tion in January 1980 Congress (I) won 351 of the 542 seats. 'It's Indira All The Way', declared the headline in the `Times of India'. Soon after her election victory, Mrs. Gandhi tried to renew contact with Cherepakhin, only to discover that he had been recalled to Moscow.17 While welcoming Mrs. Gandhi's return to power, the Centre was apprehensive about the future. The power of Sanjay whom it strongly distrusted, was at its zenith, his role as heir appar¬ent appeared unassailable, and - despite the presence, unknown to Sanjay, of an agent codenamed PURI in his entourage.18 - the KGB seems to have discovered no significant means of influence over him. Though Sanjay's death in an air crash in June 1980 left Mrs. Gandhi distraught, it was doubtless welcomed in the Centre.

Mrs. Gandhi's relations with Moscow in the early 1980s never quite recaptured the warmth of her previous term in office. She particularly resented the fact that she could no longer count on the support of the CP1. During Brezhnev's state visit to India in December 1980, she said pointedly at a reception in his honour `Understandably, we face an onslaught from the "right" and, not so understandably, from the "left".' 19 According to KGB reports, some

of the CP1 attacks were personal. Indian Communist leaders spread rumours that Mrs. Gandhi was taking bribes both from state minis¬ters and from the French suppliers of the Mirage fighters which she decided to purchase for the Indian air force. During visits to India by both Brezhnev and the Soviet Defense Minister, Marshal Ustinov, she asked for Soviet pressure to bring the CPI into line.20 When the pressure failed to materialize, Mrs. Gandhi took her revenge. In May 1981 she set up a new Congress (I)-sponsored association, the Friends of the Soviet Union, as a rival to the CPl-sponsored Indo-Soviet Cultural Society - declaring that the time had come to liberate Indo-Soviet friendship from those who had set themselves up as its 'custodians'. It was, she said, the 'professional friends and foes of the Soviet Union who created problems for us'. She also set up a `World peace and solidarity' organization to break the monopoly of the World Peace Council, headed by an Indian Communist and much used as a vehicle for Soviet active measures.21

Moscow's failure to bring the CPI into line however, continued to rankle with Mrs. Gandhi. In June 1983 she sent a secret letter to the Soviet leader, Yuri Andropov, attacking the CPI for having 'ganged up' against her with right-wing reactionaries. The letter was entrusted to Yogendra Sharma, a member of the Parry Politburo who disagreed with Rajeshwar Rao's opposition to Mrs. Gandhi. Once in Moscow, however Sharma had second thoughts and 'confessed all' to a Party comrade. When the story was made public in India, Indira's critics accused her of 'inviting Soviet interference in India's internal affairs'. Mrs. Gandhi refused to comment.22 Though somewhat tar¬nished, however, the Indo-Soviet special relationship survived. When Mrs. Gandhi visited Moscow for Brezhnev's funeral she was the first non-Communist leader to be received by Yuri Andropov.23

The KGB continued to make large claims for the success of its active measures. When the Indian government refused in July 1981 to give an entry visa to an American diplomat named Griffin, who was due to take up a post as political counselor at the US embassy, the KGB claimed that the decision was due to its success over the previous six months in linking him with the CIA. Vladimir Kryuchkov, the head of the FCD, reported to the Politburo.

According to information received, the initiative in making this decision came from Indira Gandhi herself, A significant role was also played by

335 ASIA
anti-American articles which we inspired in the Indian and foreign press which cited various sources to expose the dangerous nature of the CIA's subversive operations in India. Attempts by representatives of the USA and of the American press to justify the methods and to pretend that Griffin had been the victim of a Soviet 'disinformation' campaign were decisively rejected by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narasirnha Rao, who stated that this action was taken independently and was in no way prompted by another country.24

The greatest successes of Soviet active measures in India remained the exploitation of the susceptibility of Indira Gandhi and her advisers to bogus CIA conspiracies again
<b>Dissolution of Bihar assembly was Centre's decision: Buta</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"It was the decision of the Union Cabinet or rather President of India to dissolve the state assembly. I only acted as a custodian of the Constitution and followed the apex court's nine-judge bench order in the SR Bommai case while recommending the dissolution," the Governor contended.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"If the Centre was not satisfied with the reports, it would have returned to me," Singh said while replying to a question.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Why didn't Kumar parade his MLAs before Raj Bhavan? Why didn't he write me a letter staking claim to form the Government? There are several questions crying for answer," said, adding "it seems that he wanted me to visit Jharkhand where the MLAs were forcibly kept to administer him the oath of Chief Minister".

"What type of politics is this? Once Kumar travelled with me in a flight during the crisis but he did not utter a word about the Government formation," he said, adding Kumar only discussed with him "Guru Granth and Guru Nanak" all through the hour-long journey.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"After the worst type of politics characterised by forcible confinement of MLAs in Jharkhand came to my notice and intelligence inputs suggested violation of 10th schedule of the Constitution, I was left with no option but to send a report recommending Central Rule.

"The union government also satisfied itself about the contents of my report before taking the extreme step," Singh said denying he was under pressure from any quarters.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
He can recall confinement of MLAs but forget about Congress doing.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pioneer 4 October 2005
<b>Medium, message and mythology</b>
Sandhya Jain

The Rajasthan Congress took one day to expel Manchand Khandela, vice president of its Intellectual Cell, after his 250-page polemic against the ‘dynasty’ made it the laughing stock of Indian politics. Although Mr. Khandela didn’t tell us anything new, he did shine the spotlight on two unsavoury aspects of Gandhi Family politics, viz., Mom keeps mum and Baba blabs too much.

For Congress, these home truths were the equivalent of the “mukhauta” episode that grounded Advani acolyte K.N. Govindacharya. But whereas Atalji proved on several occasions that he was no “mask” and Madan Lal Khurana’s return settled the issue of supremacy in the BJP, for Congress the Khandela episode could signal the unravelling of its premier family.

I can understand the panic of Rajasthan PCC chief B.D. Kalla once it became known that “Sonia Gandhi and Indian Politics” called the lady a “manipulative maharani.” Since the BJP was as shocked, though delighted, at the unexpected salvo, it is obvious Mr. Khandela acted independently. His attack on dynastic politics probably reflects the suffocation party workers feel at the limitations the family imposes on their careers. Some issues mentioned in the book merit attention.

Foremost is the statement that “Sonia’s decision to decline the Prime Minister’s post was not a sacrifice but political compulsion. The decision was not the voice of her conscience.” This is true, as Ms. Gandhi went to meet the President with Dr. Manmohan Singh only to stake her claim to the job; she returned ashen-faced within minutes, barely able to speak to the media. Some hours later her “inner voice” was announced and “national mourning” orchestrated: “The entire scene in Parliament's Central hall was like a darbar, where the Maharani was listening to her praise surrounded by sycophants. If Sonia really wanted to decline the post, what was the need for all this tamasha?” The question remains pertinent.

As for Amethi MP, Rahul Gandhi, Khandela says: “a young prince, who likes to talk big, has also become part of this darbar. He has the illusion that he has the divine right to rule India.” As if on cue, the heir to the dynasty quest to return to Race Course Road gave newsmagazine Tehelka (24 September 2005) an hour-long interview, which so scandalized the party that it made him deny giving the interview. Congress also forced the champion of ‘sting journalism’ to accept that no interview had been granted.

Since Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to be permitted free interaction with the media again, it is worth examining what he said to journalist Vijay Simha, as the hollow questions and vacuous answers convince me that the interview is genuine. What does the Harvard-educated Baba have to say about his constituency? According to Rahul Gandhi, “An MP can't do much. I get Rs 2 crore (under MPLAD). That allows me to lay 8 kilometres of road. That's it.” If this is true, it works out to a staggering Rs. 2500,000/- per km., and calls for an immediate end to the scheme! The MP adds: “But we have been able to get 500 kilome­tres of road laid in Amethi. To me that's an achievement. What can I do beyond that? Nothing.” Yet this also works out to a healthy Rs. 40,000/km. I think there is need for a CAG enquiry in each MPLAD, especially the VIP pocket boroughs.

Following his illustrious parents, Rahul Gandhi is ignorant about India and proud of it. He tells his admiring interlocutor: “I do not arrogate to myself the belief that I am the repository of wisdom. I do not believe in the Indian tradition that there is one repository of knowledge, and that this repository is going to do every­thing.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but normally when we speak of repositories of knowledge in the Indian tradition, we mean the native Hindu tradition. Now this Hindu-Indian tradition does not believe there is only one repository of knowledge. That, Rahul dear, is a monotheistic mania which the Indian (Hindu) tradition has refused to imbibe. So next time you speak about tradition, do tell us if you mean your ‘fatherland,’ your ‘motherland,’ or your future ‘sasural’.

The piece de resistance is Rahul’s reason for entering politics! He says: “My goal is to take India to the number one slot... For that, my family taught me to be humble… Without humility I would be nowhere. I could have been prime minister at the age of 25 if I wanted to. But I decided I would­n't do things in that fashion. I would not go around yelling at my seniors, boy you guys, you can't do this or you can't do that. I could easily have done it. But I believe that unless I am able to bring something to the table, I must not take up anything.” Since Rahul is now 34, becoming prime minister at 25 would coincide with the time his mother led Congress to it’s lowest-ever tally; the young man is hallucinating in broad daylight!

Asked by his breathless interviewer if that meant he would not enter the Congress Working Committee, the could-have-been-PM demurred: “As a CWC member I can't tell the prime minister not to do some­thing. I can't tell senior ministers and sen­ior party leaders not to do something. That will be awkward.” Now before you conclude that Rahul is going to stay out, here is his very next statement: “I will get into the CWC. I will take more re­sponsibility in the party. After all I am in politics… Of course, I'll take my place at the appointed time.”

What this boils down to is quite simple. Mama Gandhi and her cohorts have chalked out a plan of action to launch Rahul Baba in a big way, so that he can replace Dr. Manmohan Singh before the next elections, provided the UPA lasts its full term. Dr. Singh understands that Madame is in a hurry and that he lacks the charisma to take Congress to victory at the hustings. Hence he graciously took the little prince to Kabul, to learn something about the political environment in India’s neighbourhood.

Sadly, this was lost on Rahul, who thinks he can only learn from Western countries. Gushing over a trip to Hamburg, he said: “Here people keep asking why I travel abroad. I am not going to do politics the way these people have done… When I meet people from other countries, they ask me about our problems. I think that if they are asking me this, there must be some­thing wrong with the way we do things…” The Amethi MP adds: “There was this president of a small county… he looked at me and said it all depends on aid… he laid it out for me...showed me how important aid is. I go to Hamburg and this is what I get. How am I going to pick up something like this in India? How can I learn anything if I stay put in India…”

It is shamefully obvious that Rahul Gandhi looks at India with the eyes and mind of a foreigner who despises the natives but is determined to assert his ‘divine right’ to rule them. I wonder if Rudyard Kipling intended to extend this privilege to westernized oriental gentlemen (WOGs).
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> the young man is hallucinating in broad daylight!
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Student leaders mourn on Gandhi Jayanti </b>
Every Indian knows that Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2 and he was assassinated on January 31. Apparently, these hair-brained student leaders in Agra had skipped their history lessons. As a result, they stuck posters on Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on October 2, 2005, at the Agra University gates and campus.

These posters, circulated by the National Students Union of India, the student wing of the Congress party, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 136th birthday, displayed slogans like <b>"Bapu Ki Punya Tithi, 02 October" and "Bapu Hum Sharminda Hain, Tere Katil Zinda Hain". </b>Such posters could be seen scattered everywhere in the University and not a single person bothered to take them off the walls even after a number of university professors and employees pointed it out.

On Monday, the NSUI issued an official apology on the issue, stating that this was a mistake made by the printing press and it had been corrected, terming Mahatma Gandhi as the "Heritage" of the Congress and the country. However, the posters could be seen littering the University and college campuses in the town even the next day without any corrections having been made.

This is not the first time that the overzealous Congress leaders of Agra have made such a blunder. <b>A few months ago, the city was flooded with hoardings bearing life-size images of Sonia Gandhi super-imposed on the map of India. To the surprise of the Agra residents, the map made no mention of Kashmir.</b> <!--emo&Rolleyes--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rolleyes.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Such hoardings had even been placed in front of the District Magistrate's office in the town. He had promptly pointed out the mistake in the map and asked for a correct representation of the Indian map. It was after this that the embarrassed Congress pulled down all these hoardings, but not before the other political parties took full advantage of this mistake to defame the party.
Beyond Mitrokhin: The Gandhi family nexus by N S Rajaram in Organiser

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->we need to take a close look at the sinister and shadowy figure of Viktor Chebrikov rather than Mitrokhin who was only trying to peddle himself and his suitcases stuffed with smuggled papers for a good living in the West.

Chebrikov held the post of KGB chairman from 1982 to 88. He was arguably the second most powerful man in the Soviet Union. Even when Michael Gorbachev was charming the world, it was Chebrikov who pulled the strings.

Time Europe reported (January 4, 1988): “Former KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov claimed that the Soviet secret service paid for up to half of the complimentary reports about Gorbachev in the western press.” According to Chebrikov, Gorbachev was a poor administrator and had no leadership qualities.

The KGB may no longer exist on paper, but its men and its mindset are firmly entrenched in today’s Russia. Both President Putin and the present Russian Ambassador Vyacheslav Trubinko are KGB men who served under Chebrikov. Chebrikov was personally in charge of dealings with the Gandhi family going back to Indira Gandhi. It shows the great importance that the Soviet Union and its successor accorded to it.

Dr. Yvgenia Albats’ book goes much farther. She documents not one-time payments, but a long-term business relationship between Rajiv and Soviet trading companies. Here is the gist of the key letter in her book

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The same report noted that the “320,000 foreign currency roubles allocated for the indicated purpose in 1985” had been spent. The KGB requested an additional 320,000 roubles for 1986 “In order to support special operations and measures on consolidation of the results of official visit by Prime Minister R. Gandhi to the Soviet Union.”

The letter was signed by V. Chebrikov. Argumenty i Fakty also noted that, “in accordance with this letter funds were appropriated, according to a December 20, 1985 CPSU Central Committee decree and an order of the USSR Council of Ministers on the same day.”


This supports Mitrokhin’s claim, but Dr. Yvgenia Albats’ book goes much farther. She documents <b>not one-time payments, but a long-term business relationship between Rajiv and Soviet trading companies</b>. Here is the gist of the key letter in her book A State Within the State—The KGB and Its Hold on Russia. (See copy: the translation from the Russian and the punctuation leave something to be desired):

“<b>The USSR KGB maintains contact with the son of Premier Minister</b> [Sic: there should be a comma after ‘Minister’] Rajiv Gandhi of India.” The ubiquitous Chebrikov who signed the 1982 letter goes on to note:

“R. Gandhi expresses deep gratitude for the benefits accruing to his family from the commercial dealings of an Indian firm he controls in cooperation with Soviet foreign trade organisations.”

We know from other KGB sources how large the “benefits accruing to his family” were. Six months after Rajiv Gandhi’s death, the Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte reported in November 1991 that Sonia Gandhi was controlling a Swiss bank account worth more than two billion dollars. The source again was an official KGB file.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Poverty Zindabad </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
When cities like Mumbai and Bangalore get inundated after a sharp shower, health authorities are unable to combat communicable diseases, the airport at Vishakhapatnam remains flooded for three weeks, aircraft have to wait on the tarmac or hover in the sky because runways are clogged, reliable access to electricity remains a distant dream, water has to be rationed and commuting becomes a nightmare, then it is as good as accepting that India's urban infrastructure is in a right royal mess.

No matter how hard the Union Government and the State Governments may try to gloss over the reality, the fact of the matter is that our cities are fast turning into sprawling urban slums with their attendant problems. The UPA Government, while presenting the Economic Survey for 2004-2005, had made bold to acknowledge - and thus accept the NDA Government's emphasis on infrastructure development was not without merit - that "quality infrastructure is most important for high and sustainable growth and alleviating poverty" and that urban development remains "the most important frontier of Indian infrastructure".

<b>That was earlier this year; since then, the Government has done precious little to generate faith in its commitment to building infrastructure, whether in cities or in villages.</b> On the contrary, the bulk of policy initiative is aimed at burdening Government with the agenda of NGOs patronised by the National Advisory Council and the baggage of the Left. With the commitment of the Union Government faltering, State Governments, barring some exceptions, have been busy undoing admirable initiatives for urban renewal through infrastructure upgradation.

The amazing manner in which Mr HD Deve Gowda has stymied all plans for Bangalore's development by denouncing them as pro-rich and, therefore, anti-poor is a manifestation of the mindset of the current regime in New Delhi. Notwithstanding the occasional murmur of dissent that one hears from<b> Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Planning Commission chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia or Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the overwhelming view at the top is that focusing on infrastructure is pandering to India's elite and, hence, must be substituted with cockamamie schemes to help the poor.</b>

This has already resulted in bringing the NDA regime's grand infrastructure development programmes to a near-halt. The National Highway Development Project is floundering and nobody in Government is genuinely worried although the country desperately needs new roads. Expressways, that link cities and suburban areas, are not even on the drawing board; the one that was coming up in Bangalore has been condemned to an untimely death.

To keep pace with the projected growth of the civil aviation sector, building of new airports and modernisation of existing facilities cannot be put off any longer, but the Government is least bothered by the urgency of the situation. In most urban areas, there is a crippling shortage of electricity for domestic and industrial consumption; in the nation's capital, residents are advised to bathe with measured mugs of water.

The mess has not necessarily resulted from lack of funds; in any event, there are more than enough entrepreneurs willing to invest in infrastructure. Unfortunately, rather than build infrastructure and allow the benefits to percolate down to the masses, the Government has adopted a line of action that has been the hallmark of <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>all Congress regimes - indulge in vacuous pro-poor rhetoric, squander huge sums of money on wasteful social welfare schemes and allow venal politicians and corrupt bureaucrats to flourish. In brief, celebrate poverty. </span>
<b>Congress worker held for Lashkar links in J&K</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A Congress worker was arrested for his alleged links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) at Bharath near Doda town, police said on Friday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Meri Sonia Congress Mahan.
See why <b>secularism</b> is lifeline for these netas (from Rediff)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But Singh had his reasons to try and reverse the effect of the court order. He will be 75 in early November. Though keeping indifferent health, he is reluctant to retire from active politics.

<b>With his Rajya Sabha membership due to end early next year, he is keen on earning further political capital by being seen as a messiah of Muslims so he can be re-nominated for another six years.</b> However, a section of the Congress party wants him (and a few others it considers well past their 'sell by' date) to retire.

Given the reduced strength of the Congress party in the Madhya Pradesh assembly, it will be difficult for the party to retain both its seats in the Rajya Sabha that fall vacant next year. The other seat to be vacant is held by Law Minister Hansraj Bhardwaj. The party can get only one of them elected in next year's biennial election.

Between Singh and Bhardwaj, it might opt for the latter and retire the former to a Raj Bhavan.
Came via email:
Anyone with more info on this little episode?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Manmohan permitted the ISI bank BCCI to operate in India against the advise of RAW in 1983 while he was the RBI governor.  Please read the parliamentary proceedings:
SCALE, Read the US Senate reports.  BCCI's activities in India, its
relationship with BOFORS fame  Hinduja family is well known.  Mani
Shankar Aiyar is a pro-Pakistani - from the Jinnah House in Mumbai to
Kashmir and wants Kashmir to be given to Pakis.  If the Pak secret
achieves are opened Congress will be linked to ISI of Pakistan like
that with KGB archives.  In 1966 Sonia worked for an ISI operative
Salman Thassir in London. It is now confirmed that Indira Gandhi and
Sonia was on the payroll of KGB.   U.S. Congressional records shows,
Indira Gandhi, Rajiv and Sonia, were on the payroll of Paki Banker
Abedi, of Pak ISI Bank BCCI.  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Friday, November 11, 2005

President Kalam threatens to resign

* Differences with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will ‘become public soon’

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: Differences between Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government may become “public very soon,” sources told Daily Times.

Sources said Kalam was threatening to resign and was just waiting for the Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench judgment on the “unconstitutional” dissolution of the Bihar Assembly. Bihar is not the only issue creating differences, they said. The Congress Party does not trust Kalam and sees him as being closer to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), they added.

According to sources, the Prime Minister’s Office has stopped the communication of minutes from the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the past three months. Whenever the Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidency) asks for the minutes, the Cabinet Secretariat has wriggled out, saying the draft minutes had been sent to the PMO for clearance.

Earlier, Kalam aired his displeasure to Singh after the SC struck down the dissolution to announce a complete judgment later, said sources. They said Kalam complained he was being taken for granted and was rushed to sign the proclamation dissolving the Bihar Assembly. He reportedly told the prime minister that the latter had betrayed his trust by making the wrong recommendation and he wanted to step down, they added.

Singh, who was in Chandigarh that day, persuaded him not to precipitate a crisis and assured him the government would challenge the ruling. However, his condemnation of Governor Buta Singh on Tuesday for “the wrong recommendation” to dissolve the assembly was read in the Rashtrapati Bhawan as him going back on his promise to the president for a review of the judgment.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders, led by Congress General Secretary Ambika Soni, are claiming that Kalam was an appointee of the previous NDA regime and the party would be happy if he resigns. The party would ensure that a new president was appointed within two months of Kalam’s resignation instead of allowing a longer run to Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, to remain the interim President, Congress sources said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->President Kalam threatens to resign<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
If this happen, UPA will either declare emergency or have to pack bags. Current trends are leading towards emergency. All low level jerks will try to stay in power. After Bihar election NDA should concentrate on Central Government.
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Nov 10 2005, 07:14 PM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Nov 10 2005, 07:14 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Meanwhile, Congress leaders, led by Congress General Secretary Ambika Soni, are claiming that Kalam was an appointee of the previous NDA regime and the party would be happy if he resigns. The party would ensure that a new president was appointed within two months of Kalam’s resignation instead of allowing a longer run to Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, to remain the interim President, Congress sources said.[right][snapback]40993[/snapback][/right]
How low can these people get? Looks like this Ambika Soni is already measuring the drapes for the new Cong stooge who'll be installed as next President. Had NDA had issue with the President, she'd have been running pillar to post ranting as to how BJP led NDA are hounding a non-hindu president.
And the nehru clan crony has an audacity to say that she'd be happy to see Kalam resigns. I hope Kalam stays, rather outlives this bunch running the Parliament.
IFFI: Goa pulls back its invite to Big B
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has leaned on the Goa government to cancel the invitation extended to actor Amitabh Bachchan to inaugurate next month’s 36th International Film Festival of India.

According to sources, Information Minister Jaipal Reddy pulled up Goa CM Pratapsinh Rane for inviting Bachchan to inaugurate the festival. ‘‘We were told not to project Amitabh Bachchan since he was a Samajwadi Party leader,’’ said a bureaucrat from Goa who attended the meeting with I & B officials in Delhi

Goa government officials were also told that <span style='color:red'>Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will be displeased with the decision to invite Bachchan to inaugurate the film fest. The I&B Ministry decided that Sanjay Dutt and Shahrukh Khan will be brought in for the inauguration. </span>

Rane is now in an embarrassing situation since it was he who personally persuaded Bachchan to open the festival.

<b>No security checks: After Dalai Lama, Robert Vadra only one named in VIP list</b>
Bole to yeh country apoon ke baap ki hai kyaaa... Jaa ukhad le jo ukhadnaa hai tum log ko.. <!--emo&:felx--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/flex.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='flex.gif' /><!--endemo-->
After Gandhi Khandan, its Vadra Khandan turn to loot India. <!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>The General Theory of Revelations and Responses</b>

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