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Do you care about Quattrocchi?

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Last updated on: February 28, 2007 15:14 IST
It is a name that refuses to go away, featuring in a scandal that refuses to die.

The Bofors kickbacks scandal happened in the 1980s; Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of the persons named in the CBI's chargesheet in the case left the country soon after the scam broke, never to return.

It was rumoured that he was close to Sonia Gandhi's family in Italy, which was how he had access to the corridors of power. The scandal tarnished Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress party and led to his government's defeat in the 1989 general election.

Over the last two decades, everytime there was a fresh development in the case, the political system has gone into convulsions. Parliament gets disrupted routinely, a clamour goes out for the enforcement of the law.

Two decades on, no one has been convicted for siphoning off Rs 64 crores in commissions, the trail having gone cold long ago.

Interpol has a red corner notice out on Quattrocchi, which was how he came to be arrested in Argentina earlier this month.

The CBI's silence on the matter for three weeks, the news finally coming out from Interpol, has led to a fresh furore in India, with charges of connivance with the accused being hurled at the Congress leadership and the government.

Parliament has been disrupted, even the presentation of the Railway Budget on Monday was delayed because of the din.

All of which begs the question: Does the public, in this case our readers, you, really care about who Quattrocchi is? Has the Bofors scandal become one of those meaningless exercises with no end in sight?

Tell us what you think!


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