|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

Atal made no problem with the Sukhoi advance of the Rao government: Book | India News


NEW DELHI: The late Atal Bihari Vajpayee chose not to raise a decision by the Narasimha Rao interim government to provide an unusual advance of $ 350 million to Russian Sukhoi fighter manufacturers, as he considered the acquisition to be in the interests of the company. Security of India, says a more recent book. in the former PM.
“Vajpayee – The Years That Changed India”, written by former IAS officer Shakti Sinha, who worked with the late opposition leader and also in office, relates that the advance of the military aircraft had initially seemed like a scam. But Vajpayee wanted to know more, and it turned out that the breakthrough was necessary to keep Sukhoi’s manufacturing unit afloat. Then, Russian President Boris Yeltsin sought breakthrough as the country’s economy faced a slump.
Vajpayee chose not to raise the issue in LS’s 1996 campaign, Sinha writes, as he felt that India’s security needs would be compromised. As things turned out, Rao, who had made a controversial but correct decision, lost the vote and the deal was completed by SP member Mulayam Singh Yadav, who became Defense Minister in the United Front government.
“Although not too many details were known at the time, Vajpayee did not use this point about an unusual advance in his election campaign,” says the book, which provides a contrast to the political battles fought by recent defense deals.
Sinha writes that Vajpayee congratulated Yadav in Parliament and his words of praise caught some BJP members by surprise. Later, Yadav organized a briefing for Vajpayee and BJP senior member Jaswant Singh, explaining the circumstances of the military contract. Vajpayee wanted to point out the internal consensus on major security issues, particularly as it relates to Russia, which was a major supporter of India in international forums and supplied the majority of its military imports. Written by an insider, the book presents details about the political developments that led to Vajpayee becoming prime minister in 1998 and the delicate negotiations with AIADMK’s J Jayalalitha, whose visit was preceded by a discussion about the coconut water service instead. of tea. Sinha also details how he shook up and toppled the government over the BJP’s inability to fire the DMK regime.
According to the book, contrary to popular perception, Vajpayee was not an untimely speaker and worked hard on his main speeches. He also refutes the “right man in the wrong party” label for Vajpayee, noting that Vajpayee might have differed from the BJP at times, but remained loyal to the Sangh cause. He was immersed in Hindu cultural traditions in his upbringing.

Times of India