Do You Know Your Sonia?
By Dr. Subramanian Swamy
August 15, 2004
Patriotic Indians should thank the President of India for having the courage by citing a legal hitch to dissuade Ms. Sonia Gandhi from staking her claim to form the government in May this year. She therefore did not as expected on May 17th become the Prime Minister of 1 billion plus people of India. It can now be said that the nation has been saved from a monumental, devastating, and permanent injury to India’s national interest and patriotic psyche of Indians. And therefore every effort that can be made in a democracy should be made to ensure that Ms. Sonia Gandhi is permanently out of reckoning for any public office. For those who instinctively understand that, this Note is to explain the factual basis for this conclusion, and suggest what patriotic Indians can do now .
My opposition to Ms. Sonia Gandhi is not merely because she is Italian---born. In other democratic countries, including in Italy, such an issue [of foreign-born aspiring to be head of government]would not even arise at all because the issue has already been settled by law, that a person cannot hold the highest public office unless he or she is native born.
In India there is no such law, but the President according to my knowledge, correctly acted on a proviso to Section 5 of the Indian Citizenship Act which empowers the Union Home Ministry to lay down conditions that apply to Indian citizenship acquired by foreigners by registration, which conditions would be based on the principle of reciprocity, viz., in Ms Gandhi’s case such of those conditions that apply to Indians on becoming citizens of Italy would apply to her.
The President reportedly told her that if she insisted on being invited to form the government, he would want first to clarify, on a reference to the Supreme Court, whether in view of this proviso her appointment as PM could be successfully challenged in the court. It is fair to assume that this report of the President’s decision, is correct since the President had before him my petition dated May 15, 2004 making just that point--- that Ms. Gandhi’s citizenship is conditional, and in particular she cannot be the PM legally. The President had also given me an appointment at 12.45 PM on May 17, 2004 to explain my submissions in person, which I did. I also told him that I would challenge such a constitutional appointment in the Supreme Court just as I had in 2001 when the Tamil Nadu Governor illegally swore in Ms Jayalalitha as Chief Minister.
In that case, the Supreme Court had after hearing me and many other constitutional luminaries, upheld my contention that mere majority in the House is insufficient for being sworn in to a constitutional office. There must be no disqualification as well. Ms. Jayalalitha had therefore to step down because she was disqualified by a conviction handed by a trial court in the TANSI corruption case filed by me as private complaint [she subsequently was acquitted by the Madras High Court, and hence became eligible the next year].
I also cited to the President a 1962 Allahabad High Court case, which held that this proviso in the Citizenship Act was binding and lawful.
The nation in the Sonia matter has thus got an unexpected but temporary reprieve, a reprieve received not only because her citizenship of India by registration is not equal to one by birth even by Indian law, but also a reprieve more because of what national security risk was averted. To comprehend that risk, we must first understand who Sonia Gandhi really is and what danger she, her family and her friends in Italy hold for India’s national security. Even for an Indian born citizen, we find it difficult to know a person’s true background, but for an Italian born it is extremely hard because of the remote access for most people to Italy in language and familiarity. This note is about that danger that Sonia represents to the nation, which the people need to know.
Ms. Sonia Gandhi’s background as is publicized by her and her Congress Party today, is based on three lies to hide the ugly reality of her life.
First, her real name is Antonia not Sonia. The Italian Ambassador in New Delhi revealed this in a letter dated April 27, 1983 to the Union Home Ministry which letter has not been made public. Antonia is Sonia’s real name in her birth certificate. Sonia is the name given to her subsequently by her father, Stefano Maino [now deceased] following his return from Russia where he had been a prisoner of war. Stefano had joined the Nazi army as a volunteer. Sonia is a Russian not Italian name. While spending two years in a Russian jail, Sonia’s father had become quite pro-Soviet; especially after the liberating US army in Italy had confiscated all fascists’ properties including his.
Second, she was not born in Orbassano as she claims in her bio data submitted to Parliament on becoming MP, but in Luciana as stated in her birth certificate. She perhaps would like to hide the place of her birth because of her father’s connection with the Nazis and Mussolini’s Fascists, and her family’s continuing connections with the Nazi-Fascists underground that is still surviving since 1945 in Italy. Luciana is where Nazi-Fascist network is headquartered, and is on the Italian-Swiss border. There can be no other explanation for this otherwise meaningless lie.
Third, Sonia Gandhi has not studied beyond High School. She has falsely claimed in her affidavit filed as a contesting candidate before the Rae Bareli Returning Officer in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, that she qualified and got a diploma in English from the prestigious University of Cambridge, UK.
The truth is that Ms. Gandhi has never studied in any college anywhere. She did go to a Catholic nun run seminary-school called Maria Ausiliatrice in Giaveno [15 kms from adopted home town of Orbassabo]. Poverty those days forced young Italian girls to go to such missionaries and then in their teens go to UK to get jobs as cleaning maids, waitresses and au pair. The Mainos were poor those days. Her father was a mason and mother a share cropper.
Sonia thus went to the town of Cambridge and first learnt some English in a teaching shop called Lennox School [which has since 1970 been wound up]. That is all her “education” is---learnt enough English language to get domestic help jobs. But in Indian society education is highly valued. Thus, to fool the Indian public, Sonia Gandhi willfully fibbed about her qualifications in Parliamentary records [which is a Breach of Ethics Rules] and in a sworn affidavit [which is criminal offence under IPC, severe enough to disqualify her from being MP]. In popular parlance, this is called 420 or 10 “numberi” [not to be confused with 10 Janpath].
These three lies indicate that Ms. Sonia Gandhi has something to hide, or has a hidden agenda for India. We need to find out more about her.
Ms. Sonia Gandhi upon learning enough English became a waitress in Varsity Restaurant in Cambridge town. She first met Rajiv when he came to the restaurant in 1965. Rajiv was a student in the University, but could not cope with the academic rigour for long. So he had to depart in 1966 for London where he was briefly in Imperial College of Engineering as a student. Sonia too moved to London, and according my information, got a job with an outfit run by Salman Thassir, a debonair Pakistani based in Lahore, and who has a export-import company headquartered in Dubai but who spends most of his time in London. This fits the profile of an ISI functionary.
Obviously, Sonia made enough money in this job to loan Rajiv funds in London, who was obviously living beyond his allowances [Indira herself expressed anguish to me on this score in late 1965 when she invited me to a private tea at the Guest House in Brandeis University]. Rajiv’s letters to Sanjay, who was also in London then, clearly indicate that he was in financial debt to Sonia because he requested Sanjay who obviously had more access to money, to pay off the debt.
However, Rajiv was not the only friend Sonia was seeing those days. Madhavrao Scindia and a German by name Stiegler are worth mentioning as other good friends of Sonia. Madhavrao’s friendship continued even after Sonia’s marriage to Rajiv. Scindia in 1982 was involved in a traffic accident near IIT, Delhi main gate while driving a car at 2 AM. Sonia was the only other passenger. Both were badly injured. A student of IIT who was burning midnight oil was out for a cup of coffee. He picked them up from the car, hailed an auto rickshaw and sent an injured Sonia to Mrs Indira Gandhi’s house since she insisted in not going to a hospital. Madhavrao had broken a leg and in too much pain to make any demand. He was taken to hospital by the Delhi Police who had arrived a little after Sonia had left the scene. In later years, Madhavrao had become privately critical of Sonia, and told some close friends about his apprehensions about Sonia. It is a pity that he died in mysterious circumstances in an aircrash.
The circumstance under which Rajiv hastily married Sonia in a Church in Orbassano is controversial but that was his personal matter that has no public significance. But what is of public significance is that Indira Gandhi who was initially dead set against the marriage for reasons known to her, relented to hold a registry marriage with Hindu ceremonial trappings in New Delhi only after the pro-Soviet T.N. Kaul prevailed upon her to accept the marriage in “the larger interest of cementing Indo-Soviet Friendship”. Kaul would not have intervened unless the Soviet Union had asked him to.
Such has been the extensive patronage from the beginning extended to Sonia Gandhi from the Soviets. When a Prime Minister of India’s son dates a girl in London, the KGB which valued Indo-Soviet relations, obviously would investigate her and find out that she was the daughter of Stefano, their old reliable Italian contact. Thus, Sonia with Rajiv meant deeper access to the household of the Indian Prime Minister. Hence cementing the Rajiv-Sonia relations was in the Soviet national interest and they went to work on it. And they did through their then existing moles in the Indira Gandhi camp.
After her marriage to Rajiv, the Soviet connection with the Mainos was fortified and nurtured by generous financial help through commissions and kickbacks on every IndoSoviet trade deal and defence purchases. According to the respected Swiss magazine, Schweitzer Illustrate [November 1991 issue], Rajiv Gandhi had about $ 2 billion in numbered Swiss bank accountswhich Sonia inherited upon his assassination. Dr. Yevgenia Albats, Ph.D [Harvard], is a noted Russian scholar and journalist, and was a member of the KGB Commission set up by President Yeltsin in August 1991. She was privy to the Soviet intelligence files that documented these deals and KGB facilitation of the same. In her bookThe State Within a StateThe KGB in Soviet Union, she even gives the file numbers of such intelligence files, which can now be accessed by any Indian government through a formal request to the Kremlin.
The Russsian Government in 1992 was confronted by the Albats’ disclosure; they confirmed it through their official spokesperson to the press [which was published in Hindu in 1992], defending such financial payments as necessary in “Soviet ideological interest”.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, things changed for Ms. Sonia Gandhi. Her patrons evaporated. The rump that became Russia was in a financial mess and disorder. So Ms. Sonia Gandhi became a supporter of another communist country to the annoyance of the Russians.
The national security ramification of this ‘annoyance’ is now significant: The President of Russia today is Putin, a former dyed-in-the-wool KGB officer. Upon Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government taking office, Russia called back it’s career diplomat Ambassador in New Delhi and immediately posted as the new Ambassador a person who was the KGB station chief in New Delhi during the 1970s. In view of Dr. Albats confirmed revelation, it stands to reason that the new Ambassador would have known first hand about Sonia’s connections with the KGB. He may have in fact been her “controller”. The new Indian government which is defacto Sonia’s, cannot afford to annoy him or even disregard Russian demands coming from him? They will obviously placate him so as not to risk exposure. Is this not a major national security risk and a delicate matter for the nation?
Of course, all Indians would like good normal and healthy relations with Russia. Who can forget their assistance to us in times of need? Today’s Russia is the residual legatee of that Soviet Union which helped India. But just because of that, should we tolerate those in our government set up having clandestine links with a foreign spy agency? In the United States, the government did not tolerate an American spying for Israel even though the two countries are as close as any two countries can be. National security and friendship are as different as chalk and cheese.
In December 2001, I had filed a Writ Petition in the Delhi High Court with the photocopies of the KGB documents, and sought a CBI investigation, which the Vajpayee Government was refusing. Earlier, Minister of State for CBI, Vasundara Raje [now Rajasthan CM], on my letter dated March 3, 2001, had ordered the CBI to investigate. But after Sonia Gandhi and her party stalled the proceedings of Parliament on this issue, the then Prime Minister Vajpayee cancelled Vasundara’s direction to the CBI.
The Delhi High Court issued a direction to the CBI to ascertain from Russia the truth of my charges. The CBI procrastinated for three years, and finally told the Court without an FIR registered the Russians will not entertain any such query. But who stopped the CBI from registering an FIR? The next hearing of the case is on September 8th.
After Sonia married Rajiv, she went about minting money with scant regard for Indian laws and treasures. Within a few years the Mainos went from utter poverty to billionaires. There was no area that was left out for the rip-off. On November 19, 1974, as fresh entrant to Parliament, I asked the then Prime Minister Ms. Indira Gandhi on the floor of the House if her daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi was acting as an insurance agent of a public sector insurance company [Oriental Fire & Insurance], giving the Prime Minister’s official residence as her business address, and using undue influence to insure all the officers of the PMO while remaining an Italian citizen [thus violating FERA]? There was uproar in Parliament, but Mrs. Indira Gandhi had no alternative but to cut her losses. She made a rare admission that it was so, and that it was by mistake, but that Sonia had resigned from her insurance agent status [after my question]. But Sonia was incorrigible. Her contempt for Indian law continued to manifest.
The Justice A.C. Gupta Commission set up by the Janata Party government in 1977 came out with a voluminous report on the Maruti Company then owned by the Gandhi family, and has listed eight violations of FERA, Companies Act, and Foreigners Registration Act by Sonia Gandhi. She was never prosecuted, but can be still prosecuted because under Indian law, economic crimes not subject to the statute of limitation.
In January 1980, Indira Gandhi returned as Prime Minister. The first thing Sonia did was to enroll herself as a voter. This was a gross violation of the law, enough to cause cancellation of her visa [since she was admittedly an Italian citizen then]. There was some hullabaloo in the press about it, so the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer got her name deleted in 1982. But in January 1983, she again enrolled herself as a voter! Such is her revealed disdain for Indian laws and that is her mindset even today.
The bottom line observed in Sonia’s mindset is that she can always run back to Italy if she becomes vulnerable at anytime. In Peru, President Fujimori who all along claimed to be “born Peruvian”, faced with a corruption charge fled to Japan with his loot and reclaimed his Japanese citizenship.
In 1977, when the Janata Party defeated the Congress at the polls, and formed the government, Sonia with her two children, abandoned Indira Gandhi and ran to the Italian Embassy in New Delhi and hid there. Rajiv Gandhi was a government servant then [as an Indian Airlines pilot], but he too tagged along and hid in that foreign embassy ! Such was her baneful influence on him. Rajiv did snap out Sonia’s influence after 1989, but alas he was assassinated before he could rectify it. Those close to Rajiv knew that he was planning set things right about Sonia after the 1991 elections. She did too know of it because he had told her. Ever wonder why Sonia’s closest advisers are those whom Rajiv literally hated? Ambika Soni is one such name. Ever wonder why she asked the President of India to set aside, on a mercy petition, the Supreme Court judgment directing that Rajiv Gandhi’s LTTE killers be hanged to death, when she was not similarly moved for Satwant Singh who killed Indira Gandhi or recently for Dhanajoy Chattopadhyaya? The explanation for this special consideration for the LTTE lies in what Rajiv had told her in 1990.
Those who have no love for India will not hesitate to plunder her treasures. Mohammed Ghori, Nadir Shah, and the British scum in the East India Company made no secret of it. But Sonia Gandhi has been more discreet, but as greedy, in her looting of Indian treasures. When Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Ministers, not a day passed when the PM’s security did not go to the New Delhi, or Chennai international airport to send crates and crates unchecked by customs to Rome. Air India and Alitalia were the carriers. Mr. Arjun Singh first as CM, later as Union Minister in charge of Culture was her hatchet man. Indian temple sculpture of gods and goddesses, antiques, pichwai paintings, shatoosh shawls, coins, and you name it, were transported to Italy to be first displayed in two shops owned by her sister [i.e., Anuskha alias Alessandra]. These shops located in blue-collar areas of Rivolta [shop name: Etnica] and Orbassano [shop name: Ganpati] did little business because which blue collar Italian wants Indian antiques? The shops were to make false bills, and thereafter these treasures were taken to London for auction by Sotheby’s and Christies. Some of this ill-gotten money from auction went into Rahul Gandhi’s National Westminister Bank and Hongkong & Shanghai Bank, London accounts, but most of it found it’s way into the Gandhi family account in the Bank of America in Cayman Islands. Rahul’s expenses and tuition fees for the one-year he was at Harvard, was paid from the Cayman Island account. What kind of people are these Gandhi-Mainos that bite the very hand of Bharat Mata that fed them and gave them a good life? How can the nation trust such greedy thieves?
Since I failed to persuade the Vajpayee government to defend India’s treasures from plunder by the Mainos, I approached the Delhi High Court in a PIL. The first Bench of the court issued notice to the Government, but since the Indian government dragged it’s feet, the Court directed the CBI to seek Interpol’s and Italian government’s help. The Italian government justifiably asked for a Letter Rogatory for which a FIR is a pre-requisite. But the Interpol did oblige and submitted two voluminous reports, which the Court directed the CBI to hand over to me. But CBI has refused, and has claimed privilege! The CBI has also been caught lying in court by telling the judges that Alessandra Maino is a name of a man, and Via Bellini 14, Orbassano is a name of a village [not the street address of the Maino’s residence]. Although the CBI counsel had to apologise to the court stating he made a mistake, he has been promoted to Additional Solicitor General by the new government! The Vajpayee-Sonia mutual assistance pact is in full view. The case now comes up on September 8th.
But the most sinister aspect of Sonia Gandhi’s character is her connection with terrorists. I am still working on it, but she has had long connection with the Habash group of Palestinian, and has funded Palestinian families that lost their kith and kin in a suicide bombing or hijacking episode. This, Rajiv Gandhi himself told me and was confirmed to me [the funding] by Yassir Arafat when I met him in Tunis on October 17, 1990 at the request of Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi and I were good friends from 1978, but became very close buddies after V.P. Singh had betrayed him in 1987. We met practically every day, mostly in the early hours from 1AM to 4AM. It was at my suggestion that he made Chandrashekhar the PM. And contrary to public impression, he was not mainly responsible for the fall of Chandrashekar government in which I was a Minister.
Besides the Palestinian extremists, the Maino family have had extensive business dealings with Saddam Hussein, and surprisingly with the LTTE [“the Tamil Tigers”] since 1984. Sonia’s mother Paola Predebon Maino, and businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi were the main contacts with the Tigers. The mother used the LTTE for money laundering and Quattrocchi for selling weapons to earn commissions. Sonia’s conduit to the LTTE has been and is through Arjun Singh who uses Bangalore as the nodal point for contact.
There is a string of circumstantial evidence pointing to the prima facie possibility that the Maino family may have contracted the LTTE to kill Rajiv Gandhi. The family may have assured the LTTE that nothing would happen to them because they would ensure it is blamed on the Sikhs or the evidence so much fudged that no court would convict them. But D.R. Karthikeyan of the CBI who led the SIT investigation got the support of Narasimha Rao and cracked the case, and got the LTTE convicted in the trial court, and which conviction was upheld in the Supreme Court.
Although on the involvement of Congress Party in the assassination, DRK soft peddled on a number of leads perhaps because he did not want political controversy to put roadblocks on his investigation as a whole. The Justice J. S. Verma Commission, which was set up as the last official act of the Chandrashekhar government before demitting office on June 21, 1991, did find that the Congress leaders had disrupted the security arrangements for the Sriperumbudur meeting. The Commission wanted further probe into it but the Rao government rejected that demand. In the meantime under Sonia’s pressure, the Jain Commission was set up by the Rao government, which tried to muddy the waters and thus exonerate the LTTE. But the trial court judgment convicting the LTTE came earlier, and that sinister effort too failed.
Nowadays, Sonia is quite unabashed in having political alliance with those who praise Rajiv Gandhi’s killers. No Indian widow would ever do that. My investigations into Sonia’s involvement in Rajiv’s assassination is therefore still on. I am also author of a best seller titled Assassination Of Rajiv GandhiUnasked Questions and Unanswered Queries [published by Konark in 2000] in which I have given some indications.
Is it not significant that the political career of Sonia Gandhi advances concomitantly with a series of assassinations and apparently accidental deaths? How did Sanjay’s plane nosedive to a crash and yet the fuselage not explode? There was no fuel! Why was there no inquiry conducted? Is it not a fact that Indira Gandhi died because of loss of blood from the wounds and not directly due to a bullet impacting her head or heart? Then is it not strange that Sonia had insisted that the bleeding Indira be driven to Lohia Hospital -- in the opposite direction to AIIMS, which had a contingency protocol set up for precisely such an event? And after reaching Lohia Hospital, did not Sonia change her mind and demand that they all drive to AIIMS thus losing 24 valuable minutes.
The same kind of mystery surrounds the sudden deaths of Sonia’s other political roadblocks such as Rajesh Pilot, Jitendra Prasad, and Madhavrao Scindia. Such things happened in the dark ages in Italy. Should we allow it India like dumb cattle?
What Can We Do?
We have to ensure that the Maino clan does not stay in power. Dr. Manmohan Singh may be PM, which is a small relief, but he is not a fighter. The real power in government today is wielded by the Maino mafia gang. Can they be dethroned?
In Indian democracy, only a shocking scandal can unseat a government other than by losing majority. Today’s priority is not for toppling the Congress government as such since Manmohan Singh is a decent and scholarly person, but in driving the Maino clan out of India. It will however not be long before Sonia will give Manmohan Singh marching orders, and he will march out meekly. We should not expect him to resist.
With Sonia’s defacto government in place, it is also unrealistic to expect that I can get an early victory in the courts on the KGB and antique smuggling cases. The most potent weapon therefore to dislodge the Maino clan [including Rahul and Priyanka] is by exposing their Italian citizenship. In 1992, Sonia revived her citizenship of Italy under Article 17 of the Italian Citizenship Law [Act 91 of 1992]. Rahul and Priyanka were born Italian citizens because Sonia was Italian when she gave birth to them [Italian law based on jure sanguinis]. Hence, they continue be Italians since they never renounced it. Both have been traveling abroad on Italian passports. They may now acquire Venezuela passports since Rahul’s girl friend Veronica is a Venezuelan. That means one more foreign bahu for us tolerant Indians. The Maino-Gandhis are certainly getting globalized. So what can patriotic Indians do?
There is an urgent need to document these facts on notarized paper, for which we need a network in London, Milan, Hongkong and Venezuela. Those persuaded by my above stated facts and arguments may join in and help set up this network.