Saturday, 6 August 2016

Sonia Gandhi - Then and Now!

Sonia's parents, the Mainos were poor those days. Her father was a mason and mother a share cropper.

Sonia Gandhi 5th std dropout. Sonia went to the town of Cambridge and first learnt some English in a teaching shop called Lennox School, which has been wound up in 1970. That is all her “education” which is enough English language to get domestic help jobs.

Sonia Gandhi, when she was an 18-year-old student at a small language college in Cambridge in 1965, making ends meet by working as a waitress in the Varsity restaurant, when she met a handsome young engineering student Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi too failed to get his degree at Cambridge.

Sonia and Rajiv avoided all involvement in politics. Rajiv worked as an airline pilot while Sonia took care of her family. When Rajiv entered politics in 1982 after the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash on June 23, 1980, Sonia continued to focus on her family and avoided all contact with the public. Sonia Gandhi's involvement with Indian public life began after the assassination of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi, and her husband Rajiv Gandhi's election as prime minister. As the prime minister's wife she acted as his official hostess and also accompanied him on a number of state visits. In 1984, she actively campaigned against her husband's sister-in-law Maneka Gandhi who was running against Rajiv in Amethi.

During the 1971 war, Sonia with her family took refuge in Italy. Under emergency provisions, the leave of all Indian Airlines pilots were cancelled and the only exception was Rajiv Gandhi the great husband of Sonia and son of Prime Minister of India, a full-time pilot with Indian Airlines.

After news came in that the Congress and Indira Gandhi had been defeated in 1977 elections, fearing consequences of emergency atrocities committed by Indira Gandhi and Congress, Sonia Gandhi decided to run away to Italy with husband Rajiv and children. To evade immediate arrest Sonia Gandhi with her husband and children in tow, took refuge in the Italian embassy in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri. It took the combined efforts of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi, to convince her to return to the Gandhi home.

She did not even apply for Indian citizenship for 16 years though living in Prime Minister’s house.

It is rumored that Sonia and Madhavrao Scindia were seeing each other in the early 1980s. Even they were involved in an accident near IIT, Delhi. Madhav Rao Scindia was driving the car and Sonia was the only passenger. She was immediately sent to the PM residence and Mr. Scindia was admitted to hospital. Again, nothing official is about this relationship.

Sonia, according to a Swiss magazine (published in 1991), Schweitzer Illustrate, Rajiv Gandhi, her late husband had secret Swiss accounts worth $ 2 billion. Sonia is known for her close association with Italian fugitive Quattrocchi.  Sonia and her family are believed to have looted country wealth worth billions of dollars.

Many had hailed Sonia Gandhi when she refused to head the Congress party or become prime minister after Rajiv was assassinated in May 1991, thus paving the way for P V Narasimha Rao to head the government. Later more and more voices are heard about her 'indecent haste' and 'greed to become prime minister'.

Sonia refused to be part of any toppling game, which once again enhanced her image. After the 1998 electoral defeat, Sitaram Kesri was stripped of his post of AICC President on March 14, 1998 by the Congress Working Committee. Sonia Gandhi was appointed president of the Congress party in his place. Kesari's removal from the Congress Working Committee is considered by some as a betrayal of the party constitution, considering how Pranab Mukherjee and others conspired to eliminate Kesri from the party for Sonia Gandhi. Congressmen and women had not really thought about the implication of having her as prime minister. Most party workers and leaders saw in her a chance of winning the elections and regaining lost ground. Many even believed that she would anoint her nominee as prime minister. Given these pitfalls why did Sonia Gandhi agree to become prime minister? It is believed that if she does become prime minister, even if only for a few days / weeks, her privileges as a former prime minister, Sonia Gandhi will be entitled to whatever other ex-prime ministers are, without question.

Sonia is known for her vindictive nature. She is known not to spare even her party men and routinely humiliates them. She even humiliated the dead body by denying a respectful funeral, of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao who did not encourage Sonia’s political growth.

In Jan 2002, the activities of Vadra's father and brother came to Sonia's notice for the first time when Vilasrao Deshmukh referred to her a request from them for flats in Mumbai from his discretionary quota. Later, Sonia is said to have received calls from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh and Karnataka's S.M. Krishna about Vadra's visits. Khursheed says Richard had approached him for a party ticket for a friend from Moradabad. As charges flew thick that money was changing hands for party tickets for the forthcoming assembly elections, Sonia got daughter Priyanka Gandhi's husband Robert Vadra to issue a public notice dissociating himself from his father Rajinder and brother Richard who have been "promising jobs and other favours in return for money". Sonia was hailed as a "stickler for propriety".

But Sonia Gandhi's outlook changed after trouncing NDA in 2004 general elections. Even though she missed PM's position and has to satisfy herself with UPA Chairman's position, her misdeeds thereafter makes me wonder how much true this quotation of Abraham Lincoln was ... "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power... Abraham Lincoln"

In 2006, the Indian government put Sonia Gandhi’s interest, to avenge the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE in 1991, above national interest and actively assisted the brutal Sri Lankan genocide of at least 70,000 Tamils between 2006-2009, by remaining deafeningly silent, that has culminated in liquidation of LTTE and murder of its chief Prabhakaran in May 2009.
See LTTE, IPKF, Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and Murder of Prabhakaran.
This has relegated Tamils as second class citizens in Sri Lanka permanently thus defeating them in their 40 year ethnic conflict for equal rights.

Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra was exempted from pre-embarkation security checks in all Indian airports during UPA regime of 10 years.
Robert Vadra started minting money in questionable business deals with DLF etc and their constructing Simla home circumventing laws. It is rumored that Vadra amassed a fortune worth over 10,000 crores in 10 years just by being the son-in-law to the most powerful woman in India.

The National Herald scam is an ongoing court case against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. As per the complaint, Indian National Congress granted an interest-free loan of  Rs.90.25 crore to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), owner of the National Herald newspaper which was established by Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom fighters in 1938. It was alleged that the loan was either not repaid or repaid in cash, which is in violation Income Tax Act. A closely held company, Young Indian, was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs.50 lakh and it acquired almost all the shareholding of AJL and all its properties worth Rs.5,000 crore. It was alleged criminal misappropriation by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The courts have determined that a prima facie case has been established in the matter.

Some other famous scams where Sonia Gandhi is linked are:
  1. Maruti scam
  2. Bofors scam
  3. Vadra DLF Scam
  4. 2G spectrum scam (2008): In 2008, the country issued 122 new telecom licences to several domestic companies that had little or no experience in the telecom sector, and at a price set in 2001. It is estimated that the spectrum scam led to a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government.
  5. CWG scam (2010): Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and nine others were charged for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer in CWG-related corruption case. 
  6. Coal scam (2012): Irregularities in auctioning 194 coal blocks created a massive uproar and government heavily criticised for causing a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores.
  7. Chopper scam (2012): Former Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi was allegedly paid bribes to swing a Rs 3,600 crores deal for procuring 12 choppers from Italian firm Finmeccanica to ferry VVIPS.
  8. Tatra truck scam (2012): The Enforecement Directorate had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in April, 2013 against Vectra Chairman Ravi Rishi and few other firms after former Army chief Gen V K Singh had alleged that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe in September, 2010 to clear the purchase of a tranche of 1,676 Tatra trucks for the Army.
  9. Adarsh scam (2012): The Adarsh controversy had erupted with reports which alleged that the land belonging to the defence had been given away by the state for the society where bureaucrats got themselves flats. It was seen that even politicians and army personnel connived to grab apartments in this plush 31-storey Colaba building overlooking the defence area.
  10. IPL scam (2013): Three Rajasthan Royal players, S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, arrested for alleged spot fixing in the IPL by the Delhi.

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