Thursday, March 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

T E H E L K A   'E X P O S E'


Website exposes govt’s shady defence deals

BJP chief Bangaru Laxman quits,
Cabinet rejects George’s offer to resign

New Delhi, March 13
The BJP President, Mr Bangaru Laxman, tonight resigned from the post following the exposure of his alleged involvement in a defence deal by a website, even as Defence Minister George Fernandes offered to resign from the Cabinet. However, Mr Fernandes was persuaded by his Cabinet colleagues not to take any hasty decision.

PM, Fernandes should resign: Congress
New Delhi, March 13
Claiming that the had produced incontrovertible evidence about the involvement of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, his Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra, Defence Minister George Fernandes, Samata Party President Jaya Jaitley and many respectable members of Sangh Parivar in a defence deal, the Congress said today that the senior government functionaries had no moral right to continue in office.


Govt ready for probe: Vajpayee

General suspended, says he took money
New Delhi, March 14
Even as Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the government was prepared to face any inquiry or probe following revelations by a dotcom company of the involvement of politicians and senior government, besides Army officials, in influencing the procurement of defence equipment, Major-Gen P.S.K. Choudhary, Additional Director-General Weapons and Equipment, alongwith three Ministry of Defence officials were placed under suspension.

J. Krishnamurthi is BJP acting chief
New Delhi, March 14
 Even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party struggled to come to grip with the political quake generated by a website, its office-bearers’ emergency meeting today decided to appoint its senior Vice-President K. Jana Krishnamurthi as the Acting President of the party.

System is corrupt, nothing fake about it!
Hari Jaisingh
Wheeling-dealing in defence purchases has been a known fact. The infamous Bofors deal in the late eighties was very much a product of a corrupt system thriving in this country irrespective of the party or parties in power. The Tehelka “expose” has shown that it is business as usual even under the dispensation of the National Democratic Alliance.

NDA unfazed by threat
New Delhi, March 14
Dared by the Trinamool Congress to axe Union Defence Minister George Fernandes or be prepared for a parting of ways, embattled Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee decided to fight the Opposition onslaught by closing ranks with the other partners of the National Democratic Alliance government.

Remove George or I go: Mamata
New Delhi, March 14
Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has threatened that her party will quit the NDA if Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee did not accept the resignation of Defence Minister George Fernandes following the expose about shady defence deals by a news portal.

Former Prime Ministers to hold protest rally today
New Delhi, March 14
Former Prime Ministers V.P. Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, along with activists of the Left Parties, will participate in a protest demonstration here tomorrow to demand the resignation of the Vajpayee government in the wake of the defence deal scam.

‘Tehelka’ in both Houses of Parliament
New Delhi, March 14
Dogged by revelations of shady defence deals, Parliament was adjourned for the day today following vociferous demands by the entire Opposition seeking the resignation of the Vajpayee government.

Two Haryana officers figure in transcripts
Chandigarh, March 14
Any major scandal breaking in Delhi somehow finds a connection with Haryana, which surrounds the Capital from three sides. Be it match-fixing in cricket or the recent “tehelka”.

Why did Badal skip NDA meeting?
Chandigarh, March 14
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who skipped an emergency meeting of the National Democratic Alliance held this afternoon at the residence of the Prime Minister, said that no one exposed by tehelka. com., should be shielded. He said that an inquiry should be ordered in all cases in which solid evidence was available.


Bangaru, Jaya Jaitley can be prosecuted: experts
New Delhi, March 14
The ‘chori chori, chupke chupke’ recording have created a ‘tehelka’ in political circles. And the government is busy battling out the political repercussions of the exposure. Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman, Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitley and others face a daunting task as they might have to fight the battle in the courtroom too.

Ex-BJP president preferred dollars
New Delhi, March 14
The surreptitious revelations by Internet news portal has brought into light the role of influential ruling party functionaries in the day-to-day functioning of the government.

Who Gupta, says RSS; Samata disowns Jain
New Delhi March 14
Within 24 hours of it being dragged into the defence deal scandal by a news portal, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today tried to dissociate from the controversy claiming that R.K. Gupta, described by tehelka as a national trustee of the RSS, was in no way connected with the sangh.

NDA must go: Congress
New Delhi, March 14
Demanding resignation of the government on moral grounds on the alleged defence scam, the Congress today said the future of the nation was not safe in the hands of a government which was ridden with corruption.

Cong men attack BJP office
New Delhi, March 14
Two BJP workers and a correspondent of the All India Radio were injured when several Congress activists allegedly attacked the BJP office on the Ashoka Road, pelting them with stones, setting ablaze hoardings and demanding dismissal of the NDA government in the wake of

Nobody will quit: NDA
New Delhi, March 14
Putting up a brave face and a united front, the National Democratic Alliance today decided to take the Opposition headlong, rejecting its demand of the regination of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Defence Minister George Fernandes.

Pandemonium in state assemblies
Patna, March 14
The pre-lunch session of the Bihar Assembly was adjourned amid din created by the ruling RJD and Left parties demanding resignation of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Defence Minister George Fernandes over alleged corruption charges in defence deals exposed by


Resignations of George, Mamata, Panja accepted

Trinamool withdraws support;
Jaya Jaitley steps down as Samata chief

New Delhi, March 15
The BJP-Led National Democratic Alliance government received a further jolt today when the Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, resigned tonight within hours of the Trinamool Congress walking out of the ruling alliance following the sensational expose made by alleging malpractices in the defence deals in a video tape brought out by it.

I didn’t take any gift, says Addl Secy
New Delhi, March 15
Additional Secretary L.M. Mehta, the seniormost official in the Defence Ministry to figure in the Tehelka tapes, today claimed that he had not received any gift nor issued any order for trial evaluation of hand-held thermals.

Cong ready for pact with Mamata
New Delhi, March 15
The Congress today said it was ready to enter into an alliance with the Trinamool Congress following the latter’s withdrawal from the National Democratic Alliance.

‘Tehelka’ outside Parliament
New Delhi, March 15
An unrelenting Opposition today continued with its protests over the revelations in the video clippings brought out by a dotcom company and stalled the proceedings in both the Houses of Parliament, forcing adjournment for the day without transacting any business.

Basu heads People’s Front
New Delhi, March 15
The erstwhile United Front was resurrected as the People’s Front today with the political climate hotting up following the withdrawal of support by the Trinamool Congress to the Vajpayee government, which is shrouded in the ‘arms deal’ video tape infamy.

Army, ministry begin probe
New Delhi, March 15
The Army and the Defence Ministry today began investigations, recording the statements of officers who figured in the Tehelka tapes, and there was every indication that the government wanted the inquiry to be completed within a week.


PM orders judicial probe into expose

New Delhi, March 16
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, today ordered an inquiry by a sitting or retired Judge of the Supreme Court into allegations of corruption at high places in defence deals. Addressing the nation on Doordarshan, three days after the website,, came out with the expose, the Prime Minister said the inquiry would be completed within four months to get to the bottom of the truth.

NDA leaders close ranks
Fernandes remains convener; Brajesh Mishra to stay
New Delhi, March 16
Shaken leaders of the National Democratic Alliance today closed ranks to express solidarity with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, retained Mr George Fernandes as its convener and recommended a probe into the Tehelka disclosure by a sitting Supreme Court Judge.

Slogans, abuses in Parliament
New Delhi, March 16
Parliament proceedings continued to remain disrupted for the third day today despite the resignation of Defence Minister George Fernandes and other leaders with a determined Opposition demanding the resignation of the government.

Army officers yet to report to HQ
New Delhi, March 16
Even as the Court of Inquiry set up by the Army was all set to begin its investigations into the alleged corruption in defence deals and the involvement of its senior officers, the four officers summoned by the Army Headquarters were still to report in Delhi.

Home Ministry to issue notice to Tehelka scribe
New Delhi, March 16
The Home Ministry is issuing a legal notice to a reporter of asking him either to retract or face consequence for his statement putting the Union Home Ministry in a scandal pertaining to border fencing.


Tehelka calls it witchhunt; Centre denies

New Delhi, March 17
Days after throwing the entire government into a tizzy, Internet news portal, today charged the government with initiating a “scandalous campaign” against the organisation and ordering a probe against the company even as the Centre denied having ordered any investigation.

Raise standards of probity, Vajpayee tells Army
New Delhi, March 17
A day after addressing the nation on disclosures made in the tehelka tapes and the government’s plan of action, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today urged the armed forces to raise the standards of probity, transparency and accountability.

NDA has lost right to rule : CPI
Hyderabad, March 17
The CPI today demanded immediate resignation of the NDA Government at the Centre in the wake of the expose.

Govt ready to face trust vote: Advani
New Delhi, March 17
Home Minister L.K. Advani today said the government was ready for a confidence vote and a full-fledged debate in Parliament on the corruption charges in defence deals if the Opposition so desired.


RSS blames PMO for crisis

New Delhi, March 18
RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan today held “incompetent persons” in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for the crisis triggered off by the Tehelka expose. Talking to newspersons on the concluding day of the three-day session of the RSS Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, Mr Sudarshan said the Sangh had told the government time and again not to have incompetent persons in the PMO.

Jaswant gets Defence too
New Delhi, March 18
The External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, was today given additional charge of the Ministry of Defence which fell vacant following the resignation of Mr George Fernandes in the aftermath of the expose by

George may sue; go ahead says tehelka
New Delhi, March 18
Labelling Tehelka tapes as “manipulated and concocted” Former Defence Minister George Fernandes today said he was considering taking web portal to court on charges of defamation and libel.

Army begins probe today
New Delhi, March 18
The Army will tomorrow begin its formal investigations into the allegations made by the in its video tapes regarding corruption in defence deals and involvement of senior officers, with possibility of other senior officers other than those involved, being asked to depose before the inquiry committee.

Sonia afraid of probe: BJP
New Delhi, March 18
Bharatiya Janata Party acting President K. Jana Krishnamurthi today accused the Congress President of opposing a judicial inquiry into the expose because “she is afraid that the truth will come out”.


Cong announces nationwide stir
No plan to move trust motion
New Delhi, March 19
The Congress today announced a countrywide multi-phase action plan to pressurise the Vajpayee government to resign over the expose of alleged corruption in defence deals.

PM’s men plead not guilty
New Delhi, March 19
In an unprecedented move, the top officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Brajesh Mishra and Mr N.K. Singh, today pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them in the secret tapes of

Ex-SC judge to hold probe
New Delhi, March 19
Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand today conveyed to the government that he was not in a position to spare the services of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court for the probe into Tehelka expose but would choose a retired judge for the purpose.

Samata men to resume work
Nitish, others withdraw resignations
New Delhi, March 19
The partners of the National Democratic Alliance government with the BJP in the vanguard have taken to the offensive in blunting the countrywide action plan of the Congress to dislodge the corrupt and shameful union government which proved to be a damp squib.

Standoff in LS, RS continues
New Delhi, March 19
An unrelenting Opposition, demanding the resignation of the Vajpayee government over the Tehelka expose, today stalled proceedings in both Houses of Parliament, causing their adjournment for the day.

Govt rushes through business in House
New Delhi, March 19
The government today sought to get through with some business in the Lok Sabha despite the Opposition’s stepped up campaign for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s resignation in the wake of the defense corruption scandal that broke last week.

BJP executive to meet on March 24
New Delhi, March 19
With fast moving political developments in the wake of the Tehelka expose, BJP National Executive meeting is to be held here on March 24 and 25 instead of scheduled March 30 and 31 in Kolkota.

Army begins probe
New Delhi, March 19
The Army today began investigations into the disclosures made by the video tapes brought out by the tehelka dotcom alleging the involvement of senior Army officers in the defence deals with the court of inquiry beginning its work.

RSS wants govt to continue
New Delhi, March 19
In a damage-control exercise a day after its harsh remarks on the PMO, the RSS said today that it wanted the Vajpayee government to continue even as it conceded that the BJP’s image had suffered in the wake of the graft expose.


PM takes on Congress
Our hands are clean, tells party MPs
New Delhi, March 20
In a counter offensive, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today lashed out at the Congress for blocking parliamentary proceedings for five days, saying “those raising the bogey of corruption to come to power will not be allowed to succeed”.

Thackeray seeks Mishra’s ouster
Mumbai, March 20
Joining the Opposition attack on the Prime Minister’s Office in the wake of the Tehelka expose, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today demanded the immediate removal of Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra and Officer on Special Duty N.K. Singh from the PMO till the judicial inquiry into the scandal is completed.

Tejpal deposes before Army
New Delhi, March 20 Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal today deposed before the Army’s court of inquiry and handed over the four and half-hour film that his news portal had secretly taped showing senior Army officers and politicians taking money from people posing as arms dealers.

BSP for action against Tehelka accused
New Delhi, March 20
The BSP today demanded immediate action against those who were directly involved in taking money in the fictitious arms deals shown in the Tehelka expose.

Fernandes calls on President
New Delhi, March 20
NDA convener and former Defence Minister George Fernandes today met President K.R. Narayanan and is understood to have presented his views on the recent defence deal disclosures that saw his exit from the Vajpayee Government.


PM non-committal on Mishra’s ouster
New Delhi, March 21
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is keeping the option of the resignation of his Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra open as a way out for resolving the present deadlock in Parliament.

George didn’t push Barak deal: Navy chief
New Delhi, March 21

Former Defence Minister George Fernandes had not pushed through the deal for Barak missiles to be deployed in warships as the Navy had made up its mind to induct the anti sea-skimming missiles after extensive trials, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sushil Kumar said today.

Govt dares Sonia for debate
Congress rejects offer
New Delhi, March 21
A day after Sonia Gandhi sought an exclusive slot on Doordarshan for the Congress to speak on Tehelka expose, the government challenged her to a one-to-one debate saying Prasar Bharati had agreed to allocate a suitable time slot for it.

Nitish: no money paid to Samata
New Delhi, March 21
The Samata Party today launched its counter-offensive on the allegations made against the party president, Ms Jaya Jaitley, in the Tehelka expose, by stating that “no money was paid” nor “any defence deal was discussed.”

Tehelka expose paralyses Houses
New Delhi, March 21
Parliament today approved the crucial vote-on-account to meet the government expenditure beyond March 31 with the Rajya Sabha returning the relevant money bills even as the Opposition continued to stall proceedings in both Houses for the seventh day over the corruption expose demanding the Vajpayee Government’s resignation.

NCP wants PM to remove Mishra
New Delhi, March 21
The National Congress Party (NCP) today demanded the removal of Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

It is a conspiracy: BJP 
New Delhi, March 21
The BJP today said that there was a conspiracy to weaken the country behind the three latest incidents — alleged burning of Qoran followed by widespread violence, expose and fluctuations in share markets — to weaken the economy.


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