Swamy seeks Bhardwaj’s sacking on Quattrocchi issue

via HK Correspondent published on January 15, 2006

NEW DELHI: Janata Party president Dr. Subramanian Swamy demanded the sacking of Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj for ”authorising defreezing” of the London bank accounts of Italian businessman Ottavio Quatrocchi in connection with the  Bofors payoffs case.


”Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are not clerks in the government. Hence they should prove their bona fides by dropping the Law Minister who had authorised the defreezing request without seeking clearance from the PM,” Dr Swamy, a former Union Minister of Law , said in a statement.    He also urged that  Bhardwaj be expelled from the Congress for failing to consult the Party president on the matter.   ”Otherwise both PM and Ms Gandhi must resign from their posts,” Dr Swamy said.  


The bank accounts of Quattrocchi, a prime accused in the Bofors payoff case, was defreezed following the intervention of Bhardwaj. Ottavio Quatrocchi, a wheeler dealer in the corridors of power in New Delhi, is a close confidant of Sonia Gandhi. It may be remembered that the first action by the Manmohan Singh government which assumed power in 2004 was to call back the CBI delegation probing the antecedents of Quatrocchi. 


On Thursday, Bhardwaj had said that the two bank accounts of Quattrocchi in London were not frozen permanently.   ”It was a temporary freeze, not a permanent freeze,” he said and added that it was wrong to withhold someone’s money without any evidence against him.   


A leading TV channel had reported that the  government conveyed to the British authorities that it did not  have evidence to link the money in Quattrocchi’s two accounts with  the Bofors payoffs case.


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