Sree Iyer in Conversation with Dr. Swamy
Recalling V P Singh
Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus Channel, I am your host Sree Iyer, I am here with Dr. Subramanian Swamy. Dr. Swamy continuing with your series of interaction with Prime Ministers, next person that we are going to talk about is Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh, so how was your experience with working Vishwanath Pratap Singh Ji.
Dr Swamy: While I was not part of his Janata Dal Party which was formed really by sucking out practically everybody from Janata Party and they will all who had a party also which is Loc Dal B or Loc Dal D something it was called and merging them together, VP Singh had no party of his own.
Sree Iyer: His claim to fame was BOFORS and Mandal.
Dr Swamy: Yes, Mandal came after he became Prime Minister and he was made the President of the Party and then they came to power in the sense that BJP, because the Ram Mandir Movement had gone up to huge 110 MPs then the Communist and left front had about 30 /40 and these people has 140 themselves, so it was a hodgepodge.
Sree Iyer: So the Communist actually collaborated with BJP.
Dr Swamy: Yes
Sree Iyer: Communists, listen to this, you guys were actually with the BJP and we are going to let you know every time you making noise. Please continue.
Dr Swamy: The govt. lasted just eleven months, it could have lasted longer but I plotted their downfall, which I had sworn I would do, because V P Singh destroyed our Janata Party, they stole our name also. Of course I use to meet V P Singh and so on, essentially I felt he was bit of nervous type of person and everything about him was about image. He had the media eating out of his hand and I don’t think anything there was that he did which struck out as something great. Except that he decided to revive something that had been buried very deep and forgotten about. That was to take out the recommendation of the Mandal’s vision report and formally signed reservations to backward classes.
Sree Iyer: Purely his calculation was that if he implements Mandal commission then he has the votes.
Dr Swamy: He is there forever.
Sree Iyer: But, there was always this unintended consequences for which Country is paying the price.
Dr Swamy: Absolutely, and so at some stage Rajiv Gandhi raised this in his daily conversation with me. He raised this question with me, do we allow this kind of Government to continue? I told him there is only one way and that is how to get you those “Extra 54 MPs”. As the BJP was not going to give him support and he won’t take it also from them. The communists are the question – the kind of mood they were in because of this BOFORS thing. It is essentially BOFORS began as a conspiracy of the left because what Rajiv Gandhi did was a trend which Soviet Union did not want to allow. Of course Soviet Union never thought that in another few months there won’t be Soviet Union. The Soviet Union believed in Indian monopoly market, it just means that there were monopolies in selling and India bought from nobody else.
Sree Iyer: Especially all these Helicopters and Arms.
Dr Swamy: Yes right, only the Arms I am talking, so what Rajiv Gandhi did was, he literally made an international search and came to the conclusion that the Gun there was going to produce the longer range gun would be from BOFORS company. There was a competition between the French and the other company. Now there was a discussion element involved and naturally loser was going to make lot of noises and the French made a lot of noises. There were bribes paid, there was no doubt, the BOFORS payment were really made to Sonia Gandhi and her two sisters. Therefore, it got initiated but the gun itself was not a bad gun because when I was part of the subsequent government to the V P Singh Government, I did have a chance to review the decision. We had taken the step to get over the blacklisting that we had done on BOFORS. They said Ok, we will prosecute the people who are bribed but the doesn’t mean you blacklist the entire company for giving the bribe, especially in the weapons area.
V P Singh came to power on that and then he did not do anything much proceeding with the matter. Then this Mandal Commission report implementation gave me an ideal opportunity and at that time when I told Rajiv Gandhi that I can do this. I have spoken to Chandrashekar and he had given up all the hope of becoming a Prime Minister and I revived hopes in him. If you agree, he first protested he is not the right man and he really wanted me to be the prime minister. I told him essentially I have made a promise to Chandrashekhar and I am not going to break it and I can’t run this country without moral authority. You will get to be known as a betrayer and it won’t last long. At that time I was only 50 and if I become and a quarrel with you and if I end up becoming an Ex Prime Minister for next 30-40 years it is not great and no fun in that. I have a mission and I said I want to work on that and I can work as a minister but I will not and I don’t think I can bring those 54 MPs all by myself. We need Chandrashekar’s help and he will not give help unless I make him the prime minister. So finally agreed and we had made a call out and then it was decided who will take Oath
Sree Iyer: So we are moving to chandrashekhar’s ring
Dr Swamy: Ya, before that what happened is that before Chandrashekar could take Oath he called me and told me Dr Swamy, you and I are friends for long and you have done what I could have never thought of I could never get done . I wanted to know whether I can keep you out of cabinet for some time. I knew that communists the leftist were working behind the scenes to create the impression with Chandrashekar and if they kept me out because they knew I have completely changed the economy
Sree Iyer: This is the desire to be with sorrow
Dr Swamy: So, I knew that there is only one way, I could stop Chandrashekhar and I will make him not do what he wanted to and he said left also told him we will give majority you won’t need Rajiv Gandhi and all that and any ways I was the bad guy who is doing it so they anyway hated me for bringing down the V P Singh government. so multiple factors were there and of course BJP was equally active because at that time I was not with them I was against them.
Sree Iyer: Is this the Rath Yatra time?
Dr Swamy: No, RathYatra, BJP took an advantage of it,
Sree Iyer: so they also had and incase it fails, they don’t have to take failure on their head
Dr Swamy: No, it not that they jumped into the thinking that they will get benefit. I never had any doubt that Yatra would be successful. It was not for building it but it was for mainly mobilization of public. So therefore I played a trick and said Yes, this is fine if that’s what you want.
To be continued…