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
R.K. JAIN: There was some problem then with the flying
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
one of the mysterious Sukhoi fighter aircraft middlemen,
MAPO-MiG. Chaudhary had worked himself into the enviable
of representing two competitor companies - British Hawk
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
bringing down the planes to India for a demonstration
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.
R.K. JAIN: Because, there you see, he is representative
of the Sukhoi.
TEHELKA: Is he a businessman?
R.K. JAIN: Yeah, businessman.
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.
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
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.
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?"
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
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
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….
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
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
Scientific Advisor to the Indian government, as he was
in favour of the
indigenous varieties - Trishul and Prithvi variants. But
was overruled by George Fernandes. And this is why Fernandes
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."