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R.K. JAIN: Yeah, the MiG…. They're not wanting to sign the agreement at that time. They said you start with the smaller projects and bigger projects…
TEHELKA: Why was that?

R.K. JAIN: Because they were not confident of providing all the papers and licences, which are needed to approve them technically.
TEHELKA: Okay.

R.K. JAIN: There was some problem then with the flying hours.
TEHELKA: Okay.

R.K. JAIN: So the air-sea worthiness certificates was not, you know, was not there.

*  *  *

Of course, Jain was facing strong competition from Sudeep Chaudhary,
one of the mysterious Sukhoi fighter aircraft middlemen, to represent
MAPO-MiG. Chaudhary had worked himself into the enviable position
of representing two competitor companies - British Hawk and MAPO-MiG.
In fact, Jain first met Chaudhary at the MiG chairman's office and so
broke were MiG that it was Chaudhary who picked up the expense of
bringing down the planes to India for a demonstration at Bangalore.

TEHELKA: It's tough luck.
R.K. JAIN: So they….

TEHELKA: You didn't manage Hawk? You didn't go and talk to them? You should talk to the best people in the business.
R.K. JAIN: No. That Sudeep Chaudhary. That guy approached me. He is the man who was looking after the Hawk interest as well as the MiG.

TEHELKA (interrupts): Explain to him…the East-West…
R.K. JAIN (continuing): They're very clear people.

TEHELKA: East…. This is the same guy who was involved in the Sukhoi deal?
R R.K. JAIN: Yeah, Sukhoi deal.

TEHELKA: Exactly. You know everything… [laughs].
R.K. JAIN: Sudeep Chaudhary.

TEHELKA: Yeah.
R.K. JAIN: Because, there you see, he is representative of the Sukhoi.

TEHELKA: Is he a businessman?
R.K. JAIN: Yeah, businessman.

TEHELKA: Okay.
R.K. JAIN: So he was representing both the companies. MiG as well as the Hawk.

TEHELKA: And he knew?
R.K. JAIN: Yeah. Because I met him first time in front of the Pushkin, the chairman of MiG.

TEHELKA: Okay.
R.K. JAIN: He was sitting in his room. He spent total money of bringing all the MiGs and air jet trainers from Moscow to India. The complete money, which was around more than one crore rupees, was spent by Chaudhary because Russians had no money.

TEHELKA: To bring what? The papers and everything…
R.K. JAIN: The planes from…for demonstration…

TEHELKA: Okay, okay. You mean the fuel and the carting….
R.K. JAIN: In Bangalore.

TEHELKA: Okay. Assembling…
R.K. JAIN: He spent the total money. That's what that Pushkin told me and next day he said, "Mr. Jain, why don't we meet tomorrow?" I said, "All right, but what is your basic purpose?" "No, no, come and see me tomorrow... you…you will be benefitted." I said, "All right, I will come tomorrow." I went to Sudeep Chaudhary's house.

TEHELKA: He stays in Delhi?
R.K. JAIN: Yeah, in Delhi.

TEHELKA: Okay.
R.K. JAIN: He says, "Mr. Jain, why you want to go with MiG? They will not get the order. Both of us, let us…let us make an understanding. Why competition? If you want, I can give you a letter where all positive points of the British Hawks are there." I said, "When you are confident this order will go to British Hawk, then why are you running after the MiG?" He said, "This is India. You never know anything can happen at what…at any time. Why should I allow any competitor to come in?"

TEHELKA: Okay.
R.K. JAIN: "It's fine. But I am sorry. I cannot shake hands with British Hawk. I was told by George Fernandes that the order will go to MiG." I refused. I said, "No, and…I don't like to run around…run after two companies in the same job. I have feeling that I must work for MiG. So, I am sorry I cannot work for British Hawk. If you have another projects where you want my help, where I am not tied up with anybody, definitely I'll help you." Then he gave me three names. One was Sagem. It's a French company. I got it the order. Sagem.

TEHELKA: Israeli company?
R.K. JAIN: Yeah, French company.

TEHELKA: For what? This is the…Sagem also…that's what he is asking.

R.K. JAIN: The other order was the upgradation of gun from 130mm to 155mm. That was from a company called Sultam from Israel.
TEHELKA: This is medium artillery?

R.K. JAIN: Yeah, artillery. Basically it comes under artillery. Medium is.... This was… I did that job also. The file was running from the Narasimha Rao government and nobody was taking a decision for buying or not to buy.
TEHELKA: And Mr. Fernandes said, "I will do it"!

R.K. JAIN: "I will do it." And he did it.
TEHELKA: It's a great way of Fernandes!

R.K. JAIN: They got this order in the month of March this year.

TEHELKA: Just give that. That is exact…. Abdul Kalam is involved. The Abdul Kalam is written a letter to Mr. George Fernandes that we can use indigenous and….

[Interruption]

TEHELKA: Who is Mr. Kalam?
R.K. JAIN: Scientific advisor to PM.

TEHELKA (continuing): Just explain that, that is…that is wrong! You can't imagine that is…what he has done!

*  *  *

There is another Suresh Nanda deal in which he gave an advance of Rs 1 crore
to R. K. Jain for the Samata Party. This time for getting an air-to-air and
surface-to-surface missile system through the Indian Navy. In fact, the
Israeli missile system called Barak was objected to by Abdul Kalam,
Scientific Advisor to the Indian government, as he was in favour of the
indigenous varieties - Trishul and Prithvi variants. But Abdul Kalam
was overruled by George Fernandes. And this is why Fernandes did it.

R.K. JAIN: Our help at times is a very big help. Like Barak was the case. Barak, you know is a system which is set on the ships, for Naval ships. And it is air-to-air…surface-to-surface missile. The file was going on for purchase of seven Barak, plus the ammunition from a company called Rafael in Israel. Abdul Kalam…the file went twice. I told you…DRDO, the head of the research and development wing is the scientific advisor to the defence, Abdul Kalam. Nowadays Atre is there. Abdul Kalam has retired. So, he wrote on the file that, "Look, we are developing our Prithvi or Trishul. Trishul missiles. I think, according to my…according to me, the Prithvi should be…or Trishul should be set up on our naval ships. There is no point of buying this imported system Barak."

   
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