Why Doval is furious?

October 08 2018

To the moment that the $5.43 billon S-400 missile defence system deal between India and Russia was announced, a major political storm was kicked up. What came to the fore also was the rising squabbles between defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor, the powerful Ajit Doval. It is known that Sitharaman had always been promoting this deal. But Doval had objected strenuously that if this deal is signed, a serious strain between India and the US would emerge, giving the US an opportunity to impose heavy sanctions against India. In fact, in mid-September, Doval had made a trip to the US and met with top officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Defence advisor John Bolton and others. These officials made it clear to Doval that if India signs the Russian deal, it could face fresh and stiff sanctions. Interestingly, when Putin recently visited India, the Russian leader and PM Modi in their press conference never let a whisper out about the coming Defence deal. Nor was it mentioned in the “List of Documents Signed” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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