AgustaWestland Deal: BJP Plans on Cornering Sonia Gandhi

An Italian court, which convicted AgustaWestland chief, said the firm paid bribes to Cong leaders to bag the deal.

2 min read
AgustaWestland reportedly paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag a Rs. 3,600 crore deal. (Photo: Reuters)

BJP plans to target Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders on the issue of bribes in the AgustaWestland chopper deal during the UPA regime in a bid to corner the main opposition party which has been paralysing Rajya Sabha on the Uttarakhand affair.

An Italian court, which has convicted AgustaWestland chief, Giuseppe Orsi, has reportedly described how the firm paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs. 3,600 crore deal.

Top leaders from BJP and other parliamentary leaders met in New Delhi to chalk out a strategy following media reports of the alleged bribe.

The issue also figured in the BJP Parliamentary Party where Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP Chief Amit Shah and Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley was also present.

Congress will also be targeted on the controversial Aircel Maxis deal and the affidavits in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

According to media reports, the Italian court judgement states how the firm lobbied with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her close aides besides the then NSA MK Narayanan and the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Gandhi was described as the “driving force” by the judge behind the deal. Subramanian Swamy, who took oath as the newly-nominated member of Rajya Sabha on Tuesday will rake up the chopper deal issue in the Rajya Sabha for which notice has been given.

To specific questions of whether Sonia Gandhi’s name would be taken up in connection with the chopper scam, a top leader refused to reply directly but party leaders indicated she would be targeted.

Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad was fielded by the BJP to attack Congress on the chopper deal. He asked the defence minister in the Manmohan Singh government A K Antony to name the party leaders allegedly involved in the scandal.

Bribe-givers have been convicted. Why are bribe-takers silent? Antony should answer if leaders of Congress are involved in it or not. Are they from your party or not? Please come clean.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telecom Minister

The Congress hit back, rejecting any allegations against Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh saying “we reject it with the contempt they deserve”.

On his part, Antony asked the Modi government to fast track the probe into the chopper scam and find out the truth as the UPA government had cancelled the contract and ordered a CBI investigation into it.

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