On April 11, Katiya Prasad, who leads the Indian navy, was sworn in as India’s new defence minister.
It was a momentous occasion, with the swearing-in ceremony marking a major milestone in India’s military history, but it was not an easy one for anyone, especially her predecessor, Admiral D.K. Prasangaswamy, who was already facing accusations of incompetence and corruption.
In the decades that followed, as India grew in strength and influence, Prasan had to deal with the growing perception that he had neglected his duties.
His detractors accused him of being an “anti-national” and an “imperialist”.
But for some in India, the former commander in chief was now an icon, symbolising a new era of Indian power.
Kati Prasar is now one of the most powerful people in the country, and it is a fact that she and the navy are under her thumb.
A few weeks ago, the Indian media reported that she had received a $1.2 billion payment from the US military to improve the navy.
But in reality, there is little evidence of this.
The Indian government has refused to release any documents relating to the money, citing the national security of the country.
The US is not even named as a party to the deal, which was negotiated between Prasaprasad and General William Carey, the Navy’s chief of staff, during a private dinner at the US embassy in New Delhi in December 2013.
The agreement was first reported in the Indian press on February 17, 2014.
It stipulated that the US would buy 10 frigates, 20 destroyers and 10 submarines.
The next day, India’s defence minister, Anil Kakodkar, announced that India had received the $1 billion, with $1 million to be paid to the Indian National Defence Forces (INDF) and another $100 million to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to be disbursed by 2019.
There was also a clause to ensure that the money was never used to fund any terrorist activity, which Kakodar did not disclose.
“There is no truth to the allegations of a conflict of interest,” Kakodars spokesman said.
On February 20, Kakodaris office in New York denied any deal had been reached, and said that the defence minister was not aware of any agreement between her and US defence contractors. “
It is not a conflict and the minister does not know of any such agreement between the two countries.”
On February 20, Kakodaris office in New York denied any deal had been reached, and said that the defence minister was not aware of any agreement between her and US defence contractors.
But several defence experts, including former senior officials of the US defence department, said that Kakodarak’s claim was baseless.
“We have no idea what the Indian government is doing with the funds.
It’s possible the money could have been given by the US government to the navy in exchange for a number of items,” said a senior Indian official who spoke to The Sunday Guardian on condition of anonymity.
“This is the latest evidence that this is all part of the Washington DC system.
It is all very confusing.”
A senior Indian defence ministry official, who spoke on condition he not be named, said the Indian delegation had been given a briefing on the contract and said it had not been discussed in any detail with the US.
“They [the US] could not have reached any agreement with us because we are not an enemy,” the official said.
In fact, it is not clear whether any agreement was actually signed, since India did not officially sign the deal until May this year, just two months after the inauguration of Prasajs prime minister, Narendra Modi.
In a series of tweets, Kakoswamy had stated that the contract was awarded in a private meeting between Prastapanji and Prasars defence minister after the defence ministry had received information from the Indian defence department that there were no specific conditions for the payment.
“As per our discussions with the Defence Ministry, the contract has not been awarded to any person.
There has been no mention of any condition attached,” he said.
But even after Prasamandas announcement, there were concerns that the Indian side was not complying with the deal.
In response to a question on whether the US was involved in the contract, Defence Minister Kakodharadas spokesperson, Lt Gen. G.R.S. Kulkarni, said: “I have nothing to add to that.”
He added that India’s navy was an integral part of Indian defence and that the issue of the deal with Prasams government did not have any impact on the Indian Defence Forces.
“I would like to emphasise that the country’s defence is based on sound, sound systems.
The defence minister does believe that the contracts have been awarded in accordance with the law and the Constitution.