The problem of Bofors has once again appeared to embarrass the Congress Party especially the Gandhi family. Sten Lindstrom, former police chief of Sweden who had probed the case about 25 years back, has revived the issue by admitting in an interview that then the Government of India had shielded  Quattrocchi and allowed him to flee the country. Quattrocchi, who is considered to be a person enjoying close proximity to Gandhi family, has been accused of brokering the deal for procurement of Bofors Field Howitzers by Indian Army. He sneaked out of the country prior to a probe which was started against him. It is said that he was allowed to leave the country overnight in 1993 when P. V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister of India. Soon after the incident, CBI had filed a chargesheet against him and tried to bring him back to India several times but failed in its efforts. In a strange move in 2006, then the Congress led government lifted the ban on  Quattrocchi’s bank accounts in London. The question arises who was the person involved in lifting the ban on the bank accounts and why did he do, as it is still a mystery. However, the hunt for Quattrocchi has  continued. He was apprehended in Argentina in 2007 but it is believed that due to shoddiness of the government, he could not be brought to India. Even before this, the government had failed to ensure his extradition from Malaysia. Even in 2009, the red corner notice against him was withdrawn by the government and he was basically allowed to move freely. It is still a mystery that how this Italian businessman got a chance to broker the Bofors deal especially when he did not have any link to the purchase of the big guns to be procured by Indian army. The things which are quite clear in this regard are that Quattrocchi enjoyed close proximity with Gandhi family and he capitalized on this relation during his stay in India.
Due to the allegations of receiving kickbacks for Bofors deal, Rajiv Gandhi had incurred defeat in 1989 general elections. Even after this, the issue of Bofors continued to hound him and the opposition parties started to target him. The opposition parties didn’t relent in targeting former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi because the proof of paying kickbacks had become widely apparent. Though Sten Lindstrom has given a sigh of relief to the Gandhi family by stating that Rajiv Gandhi didn’t accept any kickback in Bofors deal, but the former Swedish police chief’s question as to why Quattrocchi was allowed to leave India has caused a major embarrassment for both the Congress and the government. UPA government is under tremendous pressure over the issue of corruption since it began its second innings. Anomalies in hosting 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum allocation scam, Adarsh scam, irregularities in Antrix- devas deal and now the fresh revelations about Bofors scam have added to the woes of the government. Amidst ongoing session of the Parliament, the opposition has got an opportunity to target the government. To counter the charges of the opposition, Congress is targeting BJP on the issue of former party president Bangaru Laxman who has been convicted to serve four years of jail term for accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh. No doubt, Laxman’s case is an embarrassment to the BJP, but we can’t ignore the fact that he was caught in camera for accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh for fake arms deal. Actually his case is also a matter of corruption, but this can’t be compared with ‘real’ Bofors deal in which a kickback of Rs 67 crore was paid.
Scams, one after another, are enough to tell us that there is a rampant corruption in the Indian politics, but many times the names of the corrupt politicians involved in such cases don’t surface. If the names of such politicians come in the public domain, it becomes very difficult to punish them. It took 11 long years in disposal of Bangaru Laxman’s case but it is now sure that his case will be taken up at higher  judiciary level. Even the government machinery is equally corrupt as our political system for which our politicians are to be blamed. Sometime they indulge themselves in the acts of corruption for either their personal gains or  raising funds for their respective parties. The politicians who claim to be honest and proponent of the value based politics can’t get rid of the allegations that their silence or inactivity on redressal are responsible for promoting corruption. Though such politicians keep themselves away from the acts of corruption but it is not certain that they actively try to control acts of corruption. Whether it is Congress, BJP or any other party, the names of their corrupt politicians have been surfacing in the acts of corruption sporadically. In light of such behaviour of the politicians, Anna Hazare sat on fast to press for effective Lokpal law, but the political parties made the issue of the Lokpal Bill complicated.
Political parties should convey to the people  what steps are being taken by them to get rid of corruption. Are they ready to accept donations for their party fund while abiding by the established norms? The common people of the country also want to know when the ongoing bribery system in the government departments will cease to continue and how much time it will take so? The attack and counter-attacks between the Congress and BJP are not going to resolve the issue. Political parties of India have become accustomed to causing embarrassment to  each other. Owing to their habits, accusations and counter accusations of the party are always on which do not help anyway to sort out the problem. Even parties are unaware of the fact that their acts have no source to help people. Similarly, whether the embarrassment done by the political parties for each other in the Parliament or outside is of no value to the common people. The Bofors scam is a case of corruption at higher level in the government involving crores of rupees. All of us know that the facts about such cases don’t come in the knowledge of the common people owing to lack of transparency in the system.

Even people are not naïve that they hardly understand how such deals are executed. It is very difficult to say when the country will get rid of the curse of corruption. Corruption has become a part of our life. It will be better if the Congress and BJP both agree to join a meaningful dialogue on how to get rid of corruption in the government instead of targeting each-other.