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TEHELKA: And did you see any other things that…basically how to approach it? Considerable work has been done on the users side…military…they all liked the product. And they foresee no problems in it going through. It's the fourth generation.
BANGARU LAXMAN (interrupts): …on Brajesh Mishra? How?
TEHELKA: That…that defence people told me, that officers told me, that bureaucrats also told me this matter.

[Pause]

TEHELKA: Do you see that as…
BANGARU LAXMAN: You see, also there is the PNC [Price Negotiation Committee]?

TEHELKA: Sir, there is a PNC there but there is lot of process there before PNC. You know they have to first…evaluation, and then short-listing, and then the PNC will come. You know, they are not allowed to…third party inside that…in the evaluation. That is a…

[Pause]

TEHELKA: Are you experienced with defence matters generally?
BANGARU LAXMAN (nods in assurance): Hmm. No, my experience is…

[Pause]

TEHELKA: Mr. R.K. Gupta told me on that day, I told you, na?
BANGARU LAXMAN: Hmm.

TEHELKA (continues): That through you, sir, he can break that one. I said, "I don't, I don't want to…I don't need any third party to meet Mr. Bangaru Laxman I can go directly to meet Mr. Bangaru." So he asked me 20 lakhs for the meeting to you. I said, "If…but in front of me I cannot…I can give that money to Mr. Bangaru Laxman in a party fund." Sir, that, that also I told Satya also we are ready to give 4 to 5 per cent as commission. [Laxman nods] Political commission. That other…that we have to give…rest of that we have to give separate.

TEHELKA: Do we do it with the treasurer? I don't know how do we proceed in this. Do we wire transfer the money?
BANGARU LAXMAN: Yeah, yeah. I will tell you….
TEHELKA: Okay.

[Pause]

TEHELKA: Do you see any problems in that? I mean, we…we are not saying that…that this has to happen, in the sense that it's sacramount. But even if we have a 25 per cent chance, we're willing to take the risk.
BANGARU LAXMAN (nodding): That's true.

[Pause. Tehelka Investigative Team reporter gets a call on his mobile. He apologises and leaves the room to take the call.]

TEHELKA: So tell me what exactly is the procedure? If you could just tell me the details.
BANGARU LAXMAN: Look…no. Probably you may be knowing the procedure better than me.

TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah. That's why I was here. But things don't move in India without some political….
BANGARU LAXMAN: Yes, that is true, provided…. We shall try to do that…
TEHELKA: Yeah.

[Pause]

BANGARU LAXMAN (continuing): So far we have been taking the help of Brajesh Mishra to organise this because Brajesh Mishra is there on a number of committees apart from Principal Secretary to Prime Minister.
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN: And any defence issues, he is…
TEHELKA: Yeah!

BANGARU LAXMAN (continuing): We normally turn to him because he has access to the Defence, Foreign and other related ministries.
TEHELKA: Yeah.

BANGARU LAXMAN: But in this you said that somebody…
TEHELKA: Yeah. I don't know how true that thing is. I mean, it's just that somebody told us. It could be wrong. We're not sure.

BANGARU LAXMAN: Yes. I will…(nods)
TEHELKA: And basically, is he the only person with influence? I'm sure you carry more influence than him.

BANGARU LAXMAN: It's like…. No, he deals with the bureaucracy….
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN (continuing): And also conveys the views of the bureaucracy to Prime Minister. So he is the liaison between the bureaucracy and the Prime Minister.
TEHELKA: Prime Minister. Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN: So…therefore, whatever we tell to Prime Minister, he also normally have a word with Mishra.
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN: And then certain things he will say that "No, no, you convey this to Mishra…"
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN (continuing): "…You pass on this information to Mishra…." That's how things here….
TEHELKA: Okay. So basically he is the lynchpin in all the dealings?

[Laxman nods]

BANGARU LAXMAN: He is. But I'll find out all this information.
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN (continuing): But since this is a…the superior thing, I think they shouldn't have any kind of…
TEHELKA (completing Laxman's sentence): Major roadblock on it?

[Laxman nods]

TEHELKA: Okay.
BANGARU LAXMAN: At…in any case, I'll…. What would be the total worth of the…?
TEHELKA: It could be anything above 200 crores, as they say. So about 50 million dollars to 60 million dollars. But then, if you give us the whole order, then that's, like, much more. It'll go up to, like, 600 [crore], so that would be about, I guess, 180 million dollars or something. Two hundred million dollars.

[Laxman nods]

TEHELKA (continuing): That's…that's …it's much easier for us to transfer funds abroad than deal within India on a day-to-day basis. So we'll come to know tomorrow or something? Is there…you don't deal with…. There's a Mr. Ranjan Bhattacharya also, I'm told. Is he also important?
BANGARU LAXMAN: Well, he is a family member of Prime Minister.
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN: And…he does something. But these things I don't think he will get involved.
TEHELKA: Accha. I was told that he's got a…I mean, lots of projects and all being moved. I don't know how far it's true….

BANGARU LAXMAN: Maybe. I don't say that he might be involving himself in many other things. But as far as defence things are concerned, I don't think he has much.
TEHELKA: Yeah.

BANGARU LAXMAN: Somewhat in power projects. This and that.
TEHELKA: Yeah. I believe in Enron he had a major hand to play. And would it be like…their accounts, I believe….I mean which banking nerve centers do you operate in? Do you use Zurich or which cities do you use?

BANGARU LAXMAN: You have to consult our treasurer who will be dealing with this.
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN: I will have to find out from him first. I have taken over recently. I was not dealing with these matters earlier…
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN (continuing): …when I was in party. So I will have to check up from him. In such cases what…
TEHELKA: Okay.

BANGARU LAXMAN: And so far, you have yet to start. Certain things are in…still in the pipeline. That through establish agent who maintains a liaison with the supplier and also with the government.
TEHELKA: Okay.

   
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