Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma has virtually opened a can of worms for Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav just before the Lok Sabha election. He alleged here on Saturday that as defence minister, Mulayam played a crucial role in renewing the Tatra truck deal in which crores of rupees are alleged to have been given to top Indian Army officials and politicians.
Addressing reporters in Lucknow, he said the CBI, which was probing the scam, was also looking into Mulayam’s role in the deal. He also said the spat between Mulayam and Narendra Modi was a “fixed match”.
“Mulayam should not feel too happy about the CBI closing the investigations (into the DA case) against him. The CBI is probing his role in renewing the deal. The files related to the scam are locked in the CBI’s almirah, and Rahul ji will open it (as PM),” he asserted.
The CBI had started investigations into the Tatra scam after the previous Indian Army Chief General VK Singh had alleged that he had been offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a top Army officer for ordering a fresh batch of the allegedly “obsolete” trucks.
The first contract for the supply of these trucks from Tatra AS of the Czech Republic to India was signed in 1986. The contract was first renewed between 1996 and 1997 for 15 years when Mulayam was defence minister in the United Front government headed by HD Deve Gowda.