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CPI's Dange, Rajeshwar named in KGB files

By M Chhaya in Kolkata
September 22, 2005 12:53 IST
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More skeletons are tumbling out of Mitrokhin Archives II-- the KGB documents that claim the Russian spy agency penetrated the Indian political establishment¬ówith names of top Communist leaders revealed as having received favours from Moscow.

The Communist Party of India is livid with the claims made in Christopher Andrew's book based on the KGB documents smuggled out by former spy Vasili Mithrokhin when he defected to Britain.

The supposed KGB papers claim that deceased CPI leaders S A Dange and C Rajeshwar Rao regularly received bribes and favours from the Russians in mid-1970s and Dange even issued receipts for the money he received.

"This is utter nonsense. We have said this before and we say it again that these documents haven't been verified and no one knows if these are real KGB papers," said CPI leader Manju Kumar Majumder.

The CPI said it could move court against these allegations.

The book provided details of the transactions between the CPI and the KGB during 1975-76, and it claimed that the money exchanged was between Rs4 to 8 lakh a month.

Almost cinema-like, this money changed hands from car windows in desolate areas near New Delhi, the book claimed.

Andrew's book The Mitrokhin Archive Volume II: The KGB and the World kicked up a storm in Indian political circles earlier in the month after it claimed that India was one of the countries most successfully penetrated by the Russian spy agency and that the Kremlin spent a fortune trying to influence the press, police, ministers and the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

It said that Indira Gandhi's railway minister Lalit Narain Mishra received money from the KGB.

Besides this book, and another book called The State Within the State- KGB and its Hold on Russia has referred to the Congress and the Communists as having taken money from Moscow.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist, formed after the CPI split in 1962, is also angry with the allegations made by Andrew and has said it could seek legal redress against this 'smear campaign'.

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M Chhaya in Kolkata