Operation west end


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DEEPAK GUPTA: You have to be one of them. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: If you become one of the three…


DEEPAK GUPTA: Then it is my job to pick you up. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: You see, what happens is, that whole report is sent to the MoD. 

TEHELKA: Pardon? 

DEEPAK GUPTA: User sends the report to the Ministry of Defence. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Say, I have short-listed three suppliers. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: And let's say, you are one of the three suppliers. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Now once you are one of the three suppliers, then they will have the tendering process. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: After which they have their PNC. That's where we can help you. 

TEHELKA: Hmm, hmm. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: Where we can tell you what to fill; what are the other rates that are likely to come. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Because unless you are the lowest, or you are a supply holder nobody will help you. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Now, political help comes only in areas where either you are L-1 or you are single vendor. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Now, if you look at the entire Russian business, it is all single vendor. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Okay? So…there is no question. See, if we have to buy T-90, then we only have to buy T-90. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: There's nothing else. When we have to buy Sukhoi-30, it is only Sukhoi-30. When we have to buy Goldskoff, it is only Goldskoff. So there's no competition. 

TEHELKA: Yeah, exactly. That is true. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: But when you bid small products…


DEEPAK GUPTA: And it's not small, let me tell you. A Thermal Imaging and Night-Vision binoculars is used. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: In fact, there is a PNC on in the first week of December to upgrade the T-72…where 250 tanks are going in for upgradation. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: That's an order of about 400 crores. Okay? Thereafter, they are going to give another 750 units. Like this they will carry on. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: So…yours is hand-held, which would be for the infantry, I guess? 

PANT: Yeah.

* * *

DEEPAK GUPTA: Tell me one thing. 

PANT: Hmm. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: If secretary's told…

PANT: Hmm? 

DEEPAK GUPTA: If Defence Secretary's told, can Defence Secretary ask W.E. to go in for trial? 

PANT: Yeah, certainly. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: That I will do. That I will do. 

TEHELKA: No, that…that I will tell you that difficulties of that also. Sir, I asked this matter also. 

PANT: General Choudary is a man basically they are looking for. 

TEHELKA: I…I asked this matter also. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: General P.S.K. Choudary is our…

PANT: Hmm. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: Only he takes too much money. If he is ready to give the money, then we can discuss it with General Choudary. If he's willing to spend the money, I'll try…

TEHELKA: Yeah, sir, I'm willing to spend, no problem…

DEEPAK GUPTA: I can talk to even General Choudary, let's talk. 

PANT: All right. How much should we fix the deal at? 


* * *

Deepak also impresses West End with his clout in other areas.

DEEPAK GUPTA: Let me tell you briefly my job profile. My job profile is Power, Defence, Telecommunication and highways. 

TEHELKA: Aviation? 

DEEPAK GUPTA: Highways. Highways. 

TEHELKA: Highways. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: And these four areas…whatever money that has to go to the government, goes through me. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Which gives me the access to get any instructions done. 

TEHELKA: Okay, okay.

* * *

In the next meeting, Deepak explains what problems there would be if he took

up the liaisoning work of West End. He said that West End's competitors Thomson-CSF and El-Op have already struck deals and it might be too

late. Then he goes on to giving details how exactly he operates.

DEEPAK GUPTA (continuing): Let me explain to you my operation or you will not understand. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: I operate from the PMO. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Okay? Brajesh Mishra gives in suggestions…


DEEPAK GUPTA: "Do this, do this." "This needs to be done", "This file needs to stop…."


DEEPAK GUPTA: "…this file needs to begin." 


DEEPAK GUPTA: So we are in a area of big fish. We catch big fish. We don't catch small fish. 

TEHELKA: Hmm, hmm. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: We catch the big fish. If you want to catch the big fish, it is 35 per cent business. 

TEHELKA: That is true. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: It is 35 per cent business. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: You understand? We don't catch the small fish. But while the net is put for the big fish, there are people who hold the net. There is Defence Secretary, there are some joint secretaries…


DEEPAK GUPTA: So I come to know. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: They know this man operates from the political area. So be good friends with him. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: And I always tell them, "You need not be free friends…"


DEEPAK GUPTA: "You know what to do with your money." 


DEEPAK GUPTA: So, we have good relations. Now, at the user level, when it comes to army, air force…I have people who are operating in small areas. Small-time agents. They can be worked upon for clearances. "Clear our money…" "Clear our order…" Because main payment goes to bureaucracy and politicians. You see, in order, if you want political interference politicians take four-five per cent, bureaucracy takes two per cent, user takes only one per cent. Eight per cent. Maybe one or two per cent expenses. 

TEHELKA: Again tell me, politician will take? 

DEEPAK GUPTA: Four-five per cent. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Bureaucracy will take two per cent. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: One per cent user will take, you know, out of….

TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah. Total will be at 10

DEEPAK GUPTA: Eight. Eight. 

TEHELKA: That's all. 

DEEPAK GUPTA: Basically there are other expenses, you know. You have taken project two years, three years to do…. Expenses…it's another two per cent. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: Ten per cent is your expense. Commission in this business is 15 per cent. 

TEHELKA: Total commission? 

DEEPAK GUPTA: Then you make five per cent. I'm talking from an agent's point of view.

* * *

DEEPAK GUPTA: I know two people who know Gen Choudary. 


DEEPAK GUPTA: One is Deepak Chhabra…


DEEPAK GUPTA: And the other man is a chap called Sharma. He works for my 



DEEPAK GUPTA : But I prefer Chhabra to Sharma.


DEEPAK GUPTA : Because Chhabra will deliver goods. Sharma has a habit that

first give the money.


* * *

Deepak also introduces us to a second-rung defence fixer called Rakesh Nigam who claims a direct in with Defence Secretary Yogesh Narain.

RAKESH NIGAM: No, no. The commission you spelt out, 17 per cent, that will come at a later stage. We will not ask you for a letter or anything until we are sure about whether we can perform or not. But to make a breakthrough within that 17 per cent there is going to be…there could be something known as teething problems. Teething expenses…which you have to meet. How much, that's what I am asking you. 

TEHELKA: You see, you are talking about the token amount? 


TEHELKA: Token amount is if you can arrange a meeting with this man, Defence Secretary. It's just a half kind of promise from his level. It won't be work out in 2000, it maybe in 2001. Now on-the-spot I can give two lakh rupees. 

RAKESH NIGAM: Mr. Mathew, I will give you 25 lakhs of rupees. You arrange for my meeting with one of my contacts…with Defence Secretary. People here talk in crores, you are talking two lakhs and five lakhs…

TEHELKA: Sir, this is when nothing has happened. 

RAKESH NIGAM: Obviously…no, no, Mr. Mathew, for organising a meeting is a very big breakthrough. It's not, just not…it's all going to be official. 


RAKESH NIGAM: Nothing off-the-record. Which will happen. And getting an access there is itself an opening. Yeah, we are going to be looked after. If…let's talk in terms where we can really make a breakthrough with the business. Two lakhs, five lakhs, 10 lakhs people just throw…for entertaining. Recently Deepak and I just incurred an expenditure of about a lakh rupees, a week back.

* * *

Nigam talks about a deal with former Minister of State for Defence, Hiren Pathak, in which he gave him kickbacks worth Rs. 1 crore.

TEHELKA: Did this man introduce lot of finance last year. Financial advisors and some defence officers…those who are related W.E. I am not blaming him. If minister is unable to reach him, then how can…?

RAKESH NIGAM: Very strange. Hiren Pathak is a very bold person. One or two jobs he did for me, and we exchanged bags. And things moved very smoothly. 

TEHELKA: Which one? In the foreign deal? 


* * *

RAKESH NIGAM: That is the very reason that you have been in this business and have not been able to make a proper breakthrough. Your own, your person whom you are naming their own ministers…I got one job…just for a breakthrough. For six years this project, they were not getting any breakthrough. I was getting competition from companies like…people like Chaudhary and Nanda. I gave one CR and things started moving. 

TEHELKA: CR means? 


TEHELKA: One crore? 




TEHELKA: Okay, that is a HAL thing. 


TEHELKA: What was that? 

RAKESH NIGAM: Engines. For six years they were getting fucked in Delhi and the Indian agent was screwing them. 

TEHELKA: So Mr. Hiren Pathak…

RAKESH NIGAM: Yeah, but I don't want to name and very few people know about this. 


RAKESH NIGAM: Very few people.

* * *

RAKESH NIGAM: I will give you an example of MTR. You must have heard of Daimler Chrysler? 

TEHELKA: Which one? 

RAKESH NIGAM: Daimler Chrysler. Mercedes people. Mercedes is a very small project for them. Daimler Chrysler is a big group for defence. 

TEHELKA: Daimler Chrysler…in Germany? 

RAKESH NIGAM: Massive…bloody this thing. And I am doing job for them. 

TEHELKA: In the ministry? 

RAKESH NIGAM: In the ministry. 

TEHELKA: That one you succeed in. 


TEHELKA: In HAL? That is a jet trainer, I think that…no? 

RAKESH NIGAM: No, no, no. This is for the ALH - Advanced light helicopters. ALH. 

TEHELKA: Okay. Already signed deals? 

RAKESH NIGAM: No, not deals. Just…

TEHELKA: Breakthrough? 

RAKESH NIGAM: Got a breakthrough. 

TEHELKA: That is a big thing. 

RAKESH NIGAM: It has been going on for seven years. And the bloody Indian agent was screwing these people. Dr. Fisher and Heinz. I gave him results within a time of 20 days. 

TEHELKA: Do the same for us also. 

RAKESH NIGAM: No, no. We have to develop a confidence in each other. Everyone…look, in Delhi, Mr. Mathew, you will find bloody out of 100 people, 90 people who will tell you, "I am this, I am that and I am accessible to the Prime Minister." Little do you know that they are only accessible to the gardener of the Prime Minister. 

TEHELKA (laughs): That is true. 

RAKESH NIGAM: I have been in this business for…I own a very low profile. 


RAKESH NIGAM: You may not even heard of my name by now. 

TEHELKA: Yeah, first time I am…

RAKESH NIGAM: Defence Secretary appointment, I came to know one-and-a-half months back. I told Deepak Gupta. He said, "Nigam sahab, Rakesh bhai, really I am astonished…" And the rapport I have, is seen to believed.

* * *

Of course, now we go straight to West End's first meeting with R.K. Gupta. It was Pant who took us there. Gupta straightaway talks about his Atal Behari Vajpayee connections and what the Prime Minister has told Bangaru Laxman.

R.K. GUPTA: PM told Bangaru Laxman, whatever Gupta says, do it. 

PANT: Haan

R.K. GUPTA: Our national treasurer is here, Ved Prakash Goyal…

PANT: Ved Prakash Goyal…

R.K. GUPTA (continuing): …said whatever work is there, get it done through him. 

PANT: Hmm. 

R.K. GUPTA: If you want money, then tell him so. 

PANT: They should do…their work. Then they should do it like that. 

R.K. GUPTA: You have to give letter. 

PANT: If Bangaru Laxman can get it done, then nothing like it.

* * *

Gupta talks about how much West End will contribute to the party fund,

how the commission percentages will be divided, how he finished

both Ranjan Bhattacharya and Brajesh Mishra, Principal 

Secretary to the Prime Minister, in one deal.

R.K. GUPTA: This minister is a fool. Bangaru Laxman is a useless fool. 

PANT: Yes. 

R.K. GUPTA: You tell him this, this work has to be done. 

PANT: If Bangaru tells him…

R.K. GUPTA: To whom? 

PANT: Who should we ask to do the work? 

R.K. GUPTA: We should tell Bangaru that Brajesh Mishra should order from Defence Ministry. 

PANT [turning to address tehelka]: Brajesh Mishra, principal advisor to PM, he will order the George Fernandes, Defence Minister, or recommend some of this. 

TEHELKA (interrupts): We are…

PANT & R.K. GUPTA: (together) Defence Secretary. 

TEHELKA: Sir, we are ready to give the party fund also, no problem. The token also. 

R.K. GUPTA: No, no. What is the total cost of the project? 

TEHELKA: Sir, total cost of the project is a big one. 

R.K. GUPTA: How much? 

TEHELKA: Now we are expecting…we will get around 40 crores or 50 crores. Small lot. 

R.K. GUPTA: How much is the commission given to the party? 

TEHELKA: Tell me, sir….

TEHELKA: I…I will tell you, sir, that nowadays for the binoculars…in the hand-held…

R.K. GUPTA (interrupts): I got some order for Russians? 


R.K. GUPTA: They give 12 to 15 per cent. 


R.K. GUPTA: But they take back 50 per cent themselves. The rest is given. Out of that, users, they take one per cent…

TEHELKA: They take two per cent. 

R.K. GUPTA: Users? 


R.K. GUPTA: Okay. They will take two per cent. I have given only one. 


R.K. GUPTA: And the Defence Secretary will take…

TEHELKA: One per cent. 

R.K. GUPTA: One…one-and-a-half per cent. He'll settle with one. 


R.K. GUPTA: Plus there are other…

TEHELKA: …bureaucrats…

R.K. GUPTA: …bureaucrats. Joint secretaries, all the others…from where we have to start. 


R.K. GUPTA: I'll get it done for quick. 

R.K GUPTA: No problem. First Bangaru will speak to him, I will…speak to …plus we'll also bridge them. Party fund will be at least two-three per cent. 

TEHELKA: Okay. Ready to give. No problem. 

R.K. GUPTA: I'll get it done. My job. 

TEHELKA: Ready to give. No problem. 


R.K. GUPTA (pointing
 to Pant): He's like our younger brother. Whatever he orders, it will be done. Because our relations are not from today. When Mr. Tewari was Finance Minister, since then we know him. 

PANT: My son from the US just came. 

TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah. 

R.K. GUPTA: This my…son won't handle…I will handle personally. Myself. 

TEHELKA: Sir, Ranjan also…Mr. Ranjan Bhattacharya….

R.K. GUPTA: But he has been asked to keep off. 


R.K. GUPTA: In one deal…I killed Ranjan and Brajesh Mishra both. Got through directly. PM blasted him. 


R.K. GUPTA: There are ways to do things. First we will make a plan. Your order is ready? 

TEHELKA: Yeah, everything is ready. 

R.K. GUPTA: There we're wanting some political…?

TEHELKA: Sir, if a political pressure will be there. So, already, sir, they've short-listed. Sir, and there is a big kickback…is going in the users' side and bureaucratic…

R.K. GUPTA: No, no, just listen. If Brajesh Mishra tells the Defence Secretary, "It has to be done," the Defence Secretary's the last word… [gestures

TEHELKA: Yeah, exactly. 

[Pant and Gupta talk in inaudible tone] 

R.K. GUPTA: This Yogesh Narain I went to…

PANT: Haan, Yogesh Narain…

R.K. GUPTA: So that…I…Yogesh Narain, I will get it spoken to by the PM. 


R.K. GUPTA: Not PM himself. Brajesh Mishra is PM. After that I'll talk to Yogesh myself. I know him very well. He will want that somebody should tell him. Okay? Then I'll tell Bangaru Laxman…


R.K. GUPTA: That "Sir, this is a 40 crores worth order. Out of this party will… How many crores will it get?" 

TEHELKA: Three per cent. That's very clear. 

R.K. GUPTA: Not like this. Give one crore, two crore…don't give them percentage. 

TEHELKA: Three per cent. 

R.K. GUPTA: They are not bothered about percentage. 


R.K. GUPTA: They are bothered about "what we'll get", money! 


R.K. GUPTA: Like for now, you will not give one crore or two crore. 

PANT: Give one or two, that's it. Let's say one. 

TEHELKA: One. One crore. 

R.K. GUPTA: It's the first order. First take the order and get them under your thumb. Then…first you give more, then you give less. 


Within the RSS, Gupta's known as a 'super' trustee. His proximity

with both Prime Minister Vajpayee and L.K. Advani is lore. Both

have been tenants at his properties. He has also helped establish

the RSS headquarters in Jhandewalan, Delhi, in 1967.

R.K. GUPTA: With this party, we have built their RSS headquarters in '67

TEHELKA: Delhi? 

R.K. GUPTA: Delhi. In '67 I spent more than 50 lakhs of rupees to build that headquarters. 


R.K. GUPTA: '67

TEHELKA: '67. In Jhandewalan? 

PANT: Jhandewalan. 

R.K. GUPTA: It's built by me. 


R.K. GUPTA: It's built by me. Free-of-cost. 


R.K. GUPTA: We know anybody there…you go there and say, "Who made this? It's very good. Who made it?" And they will tell you, "It was made by Raj Kumar, a RSS worker, free of cost." And they tell this to everyone. 


R.K. GUPTA: They're telling this to everyone.

* * *

R.K. GUPTA: In Emergency, I gave…given them one crore 10 lakhs when nobody was even prepared to listen to telephone calls. And 500,000 dollars. In London and USA. 

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