BANGARU LAXMAN: …He said how things we don't normally involve….I said okay.
TEHELKA: No, that. No, we have a lot of other things. Power projects and lot of things we have. You know, once we are starting from the binoculars. You know, several times he asked me, "I want to introduce.... I will go to introduce Mr. Bangaru…. Mr. Bangaru Laxman." I said this, "I am an Indian. I don't know Hindi very well." So I said, "Yes, I am an Indian. I can go directly meet…meet him. I have the company credibility there. Company's just like…bigger than Tata. You know, I can go directly to meet Mr. Bangaru Laxman. He can understand my position. Isn't it?"

TEHELKA: Isn't it? There is…I don't need any commitment from you also.

BANGARU LAXMAN: All right. Meeting was set. I'm your…

[Frame shifts back and forth.]

TEHELKA: All right. …Satya...
BANGARU LAXMAN: Directly contact me.

BANGARU LAXMAN: Talk directly.

BANGARU LAXMAN: First he [Sathyamurthi] will fix up appointment.

TEHELKA: Sir, can…can I give you one lakh rupees for it? For a token. My…

[Sound of door opening and closing. Somebody enters and says something to Bangaru Laxman offscreen and leaves.]

TEHELKA: Sir, my boss is here. In…in…a…in Oberoi executive...executive suite.

TEHELKA: So he also wants to meet you.

TEHELKA: So, can you arrange the appointment tomorrow? Can you arrange?

TEHELKA: Hmm. So….

[Camera shifts towards Bangaru Laxman]

TEHELKA: So he will come and meet you. So will you…uh…what I told to Mr. Satya that matter.

[Bangaru is fully in the frame now]

TEHELKA: For the party fund.

TEHELKA: I have five lakh rupees.

TEHELKA: And today I will give you one lakh rupees. For just the beginning. A New Year gift.

TEHELKA: Okay? But…but…but, tell me, sir, very frankly, Mr. R.K. Gupta told me he arranged the meeting. Outside the….

BANGARU LAXMAN: I do not know what exactly transpired between you and him. He just…he was mentioning….

BANGARU LAXMAN (quoting R.K. Gupta): "Sir, are you interested in that work? Would you entertain?" I said he's already met me and…

[Camera shifts towards Tehelka reporter]

[Tehelka reporter takes out wads of currency notes and hands them over to Bangaru Laxman]

TEHELKA: Sir, this is a small gift…small gift.
TEHELKA: It's a small gift for the New Year party. Right?

[Frame again shifts towardsBangaru Laxman]

[Bangaru Laxman opens the drawer, takes money from Tehelka reporter and puts it away]

TEHELKA: New Year party fund, hain? One lakh rupee, hain?


TEHELKA: So what time can I call my boss here?
BANGARU LAXMAN: Tomorrow…hmm…

[Tehelka reporter's mobile phone rings]

BANGARU LAXMAN: …Five o'clock.
TEHELKA: Yeah, in five o'clock. In here?

TEHELKA: And then…rupee.
BANGARU LAXMAN: When do you…?

TEHELKA: Tomorrow. Rupee or dollar?
BANGARU LAXMAN: Dollars. You can give dollars.

TEHELKA: Okay. We can give you dollars. Sir, we need your blessing.

TEHELKA: Okay. I will not take Mr. R.K. Gupta to…. I can come directly to you. Anytime I need I will make appointment with Mr Satyamurthy. Okay?

[Bangaru Laxman rises. They shake hands.]

The third meeting with Bangaru Laxman took place with Alvin D'Souza, president of West End. Laxman was expecting a sum of around $25,000 from West End. We didn't want to tell them that there was no sum to be delivered till after the meeting when everything would already be on tape. Here Laxman talks about how the BJP and Vajpayee use Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra as the guy who pushes their deals. Mishra, incidentally, is the National Security Adviser. Both Laxman and West End argue that R.K. Gupta had no hand in the meeting.

TEHELKA: I'm Alvin D'Souza.
TEHELKA: And he is…Mr. Bangaru Laxman, president, party in power. They are the ruling party. The biggest political party.
BANGARU LAXMAN: You are based in…?

TEHELKA: Based in London. We have interests in Telecom, Power, Aviation and Defence, obviously. We are trying to get a foothold in the Indian defence market through hand-held thermal cameras. Night vision. And if there's a prospect of something in…we'll be prepared to do it at a very no-profit basis if it gives us an entry into the Indian market. In that sense. We just wanted your blessings on the project. And Mathew's telling me there's a slight problem in that.

TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah, sir. What is the problem? I told Mr. Krishna also this matter. There is basically one Israeli company there. So they are basically El-Op, El-Op. So one Mr. Brajesh…Mr. Brajesh Mishra, that principal secretary to PM, he is supporting that company very, very openly. So you know at that time, you know, he won't allow that third company in the picture.

TEHELKA: So that is not that formidable a problem.
TEHELKA: Exactly, exactly…I said…yeah, yeah.
TEHELKA (interrupts): You can solve it.

TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I, I convinced my boss that Mr. Bangaru Laxman can give that, the political cover in this matter.


TEHELKA: Did you show him our brochures?
TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah. I did.
BANGARU LAXMAN: Yes, I've seen.


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