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DEEPAK GUPTA: Basically there are other expenses, you know. You have taken project two years, three years to do…. Expenses…it's another two per cent.
TEHELKA: Yeah.

DEEPAK GUPTA: Ten per cent is your expense. Commission in this business is 15 per cent.
TEHELKA: Total commission?

DEEPAK GUPTA: Then you make five per cent. I'm talking from an agent's point of view.

*  *  *

DEEPAK GUPTA: I know two people who know Gen Choudary.
TEHELKA: Hmm.


DEEPAK GUPTA: One is Deepak Chhabra…
TEHELKA: Hmm.

DEEPAK GUPTA: And the other man is a chap called Sharma. He works for my
company.
TEHELKA: Haan.

DEEPAK GUPTA : But I prefer Chhabra to Sharma.
TEHELKA : Okay.

DEEPAK GUPTA : Because Chhabra will deliver goods. Sharma has a habit that
first give the money.
TEHELKA : Hmm.

*  *  *

Deepak also introduces us to a second-rung defence fixer called Rakesh Nigam who claims a direct in with Defence Secretary Yogesh Narain.

RAKESH NIGAM: No, no. The commission you spelt out, 17 per cent, that will come at a later stage. We will not ask you for a letter or anything until we are sure about whether we can perform or not. But to make a breakthrough within that 17 per cent there is going to be…there could be something known as teething problems. Teething expenses…which you have to meet. How much, that's what I am asking you.
TEHELKA: You see, you are talking about the token amount?

RAKESH NIGAM: Yeah.
TEHELKA: Token amount is if you can arrange a meeting with this man, Defence Secretary. It's just a half kind of promise from his level. It won't be work out in 2000, it maybe in 2001. Now on-the-spot I can give two lakh rupees.

RAKESH NIGAM: Mr. Mathew, I will give you 25 lakhs of rupees. You arrange for my meeting with one of my contacts…with Defence Secretary. People here talk in crores, you are talking two lakhs and five lakhs…
TEHELKA: Sir, this is when nothing has happened.

RAKESH NIGAM: Obviously…no, no, Mr. Mathew, for organising a meeting is a very big breakthrough. It's not, just not…it's all going to be official.
TEHELKA: Yeah.

RAKESH NIGAM: Nothing off-the-record. Which will happen. And getting an access there is itself an opening. Yeah, we are going to be looked after. If…let's talk in terms where we can really make a breakthrough with the business. Two lakhs, five lakhs, 10 lakhs people just throw…for entertaining. Recently Deepak and I just incurred an expenditure of about a lakh rupees, a week back.

*  *  *

Nigam talks about a deal with former Minister of State for Defence, Hiren Pathak, in which he gave him kickbacks worth Rs. 1 crore.

TEHELKA: Did this man introduce lot of finance last year. Financial advisors and some defence officers…those who are related W.E. I am not blaming him. If minister is unable to reach him, then how can…?
RAKESH NIGAM: Very strange. Hiren Pathak is a very bold person. One or two jobs he did for me, and we exchanged bags. And things moved very smoothly.
TEHELKA: Which one? In the foreign deal?
RAKESH NIGAM: Yeah.

*  *  *

RAKESH NIGAM: That is the very reason that you have been in this business and have not been able to make a proper breakthrough. Your own, your person whom you are naming their own ministers…I got one job…just for a breakthrough. For six years this project, they were not getting any breakthrough. I was getting competition from companies like…people like Chaudhary and Nanda. I gave one CR and things started moving.
TEHELKA: CR means?
RAKESH NIGAM: One…

TEHELKA: One crore?
RAKESH NIGAM: For MTR.

TEHELKA: MTR is?
RAKESH NIGAM: Germany.

TEHELKA: Okay, that is a HAL thing.
RAKESH NIGAM: HAL thing.

TEHELKA: What was that?
RAKESH NIGAM: Engines. For six years they were getting fucked in Delhi and the Indian agent was screwing them.

TEHELKA: So Mr. Hiren Pathak…
RAKESH NIGAM: Yeah, but I don't want to name and very few people know about this.

TEHELKA: Haan.
RAKESH NIGAM: Very few people.

*  *  *

RAKESH NIGAM: I will give you an example of MTR. You must have heard of Daimler Chrysler?
TEHELKA: Which one?

RAKESH NIGAM: Daimler Chrysler. Mercedes people. Mercedes is a very small project for them. Daimler Chrysler is a big group for defence.
TEHELKA: Daimler Chrysler…in Germany?

RAKESH NIGAM: Massive…bloody this thing. And I am doing job for them.
TEHELKA: In the ministry?
RAKESH NIGAM: In the ministry.

TEHELKA: That one you succeed in.
RAKESH NIGAM: Yeah.

TEHELKA: In HAL? That is a jet trainer, I think that…no?
RAKESH NIGAM: No, no, no. This is for the ALH - Advanced light helicopters. ALH.

TEHELKA: Okay. Already signed deals?
RAKESH NIGAM: No, not deals. Just…

TEHELKA: Breakthrough?
RAKESH NIGAM: Got a breakthrough.

TEHELKA: That is a big thing.
RAKESH NIGAM: It has been going on for seven years. And the bloody Indian agent was screwing these people. Dr. Fisher and Heinz. I gave him results within a time of 20 days.

TEHELKA: Do the same for us also.
RAKESH NIGAM: No, no. We have to develop a confidence in each other. Everyone…look, in Delhi, Mr. Mathew, you will find bloody out of 100 people, 90 people who will tell you, "I am this, I am that and I am accessible to the Prime Minister." Little do you know that they are only accessible to the gardener of the Prime Minister.

TEHELKA (laughs): That is true.
RAKESH NIGAM: I have been in this business for…I own a very low profile.
TEHELKA: Okay.

RAKESH NIGAM: You may not even heard of my name by now.
TEHELKA: Yeah, first time I am…

RAKESH NIGAM: Defence Secretary appointment, I came to know one-and-a-half months back. I told Deepak Gupta. He said, "Nigam sahab, Rakesh bhai, really I am astonished…" And the rapport I have, is seen to believed.

*  *  *

Of course, now we go straight to West End's first meeting with R.K. Gupta. It was Pant who took us there. Gupta straightaway talks about his Atal Behari Vajpayee connections and what the Prime Minister has told Bangaru Laxman.

R.K. GUPTA: PM told Bangaru Laxman, whatever Gupta says, do it.
PANT: Haan.

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