'Operation Blue Star was Soviet conspiracy; Sonia urged Indira to attack'

Swamy claimed Blue Star was a Soviet conspiracy to make India more dependent on them

Swamy Sonia collage A collage of Subramanian Swamy (via Facebook) and Sonia Gandhi (PTI)

On the 35th anniversary of the Indian Army's storming of the revered Golden Temple in Amritsar, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy alleged the operation was a conspiracy by the Soviet Union.

Swamy also accused former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and late CPI(M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet of pressing then prime minister Indira Gandhi to attack the militant group holed up in the shrine.

Operation Blue Star was the mission launched by the Indira Gandhi government in early June of 1984 to flush out Sikh militants, led by radical preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who were holed up in the Golden Temple. Operation Blue Star led to the deaths of at least 490 civilians and over 80 soldiers and resulted in damage to the Golden Temple, angering the Sikh community across the world.

Taking to Twitter, Swamy alleged on Friday, “Operation Blue Star was a Soviet Union conspiracy to make us more dependent on USSR for our defence against Pak. This way Soviets could pincer attack being then in Afghanistan. It was TDK who kept pressing Indira to attack Sant Bhindranwale. So did Surjeet of CPM.” TDK is the term used on Twitter by Swamy to refer to Sonia.

The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and would be bogged down in that country for nine years. Swamy's allegations appear to be linked to the fact that Pakistan had then become a “front-line” state in the resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Nearly 250,000 militants from various Muslim nations used bases in Pakistan to fuel resistance against the Soviet invaders, while the US increasingly supplied weaponry through Pakistan.

A CIA briefing from July 1981, which was released to the public in 2007, claimed the Soviet Union was then preparing contingency plans for military operations against Pakistan to disrupt support to militants operating from there.

Swamy's allegations against the Soviet Union are not unprecedented as he has, over the decades, repeatedly called for stronger ties with the US. In April 2018, at a seminar organised by a group with RSS links, Swamy had raised the same allegation that the Soviet Union was behind Operation Blue Star, claiming forces supporting it sought the disintegration of India. Swamy had then even defended Bhindranwale, claiming the preacher had never openly sought establishment of a separate Sikh state.

However, given Swamy's history of animosity towards the Nehru-Gandhi family, his latest tweet appears to be less about Operation Blue Star and the Soviet Union and more about Sonia. Swamy has repeatedly alleged Sonia was an agent of the KGB, the erstwhile Soviet intelligence agency.

In July 2018, Swamy even alleged Sonia's father was a KGB agent, who had been recruited by the Soviet Union after he was taken prisoner in World War 2. He claimed the KGB “ensured Indira did not block Rajiv's marriage to her (Sonia)”.