AgustaWestland: Govt Wants to ‘Fix’ Somebody, Says Jairam Ramesh

AK Antony said the centre disallowed Congress’ request of having the Supreme Court monitor AgustaWestland probe.

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Former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and former Defence Minister AK Antony in the Rajya Sabha. (Photo Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV Screengrab)

The Bharatiya Janata Party, on Wednesday, accused the previous UPA government of “twisting norms” in the process of procuring VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland.

Quoting the letter written by Christian Michel that was also quoted by the Italian court, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said:

Mrs Sonia Gandhi is the main driving force behind this deal and she will no longer fly in Mi8.

Senior Member of Congress Ahmed Patel – Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, whose name came up frequently in the Rajya Sabha – on Wednesday, said the Congress wants the Supreme Court to monitor the AgustaWestland investigation.

An entry of “AP” in the letter was a stand-in for Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, according to Italian prosecutors.

Referring to the Parrikar’s reply in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Patel said the answer was not satisfactory.

He (Manohar Parrikar) had come with written reply even before listening to all members. Even then, the reply was not satisfactory.

Former Defence Minister AK Antony, who said in the Rajya Sabha that the decision to change the height of the chopper’s roof was taken during NDA regime, said:

We’ve asked for three things – take action against both giver and taker, blacklist the company at the earliest and remove it from Make in India project.

Quoting an official release from a meeting in February 2003 which was called by the Principal Secretary of then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, AK Antony said in the Rajya Sabha that the decisions related to the change in the height of flight and the height of the cabinet was made in 2003 when the NDA regime was in power.

A senior member of Congress, Jairam Ramesh said at an India Today debate that Subramanian Swamy has refused to authenticate the letter he was reading.

I don’t think the Centre wants the facts to come out at all. Unlike the Centre, we are not trying to fix somebody. Dr Manmohan Singh wanted a fair probe.The CBI and the ED had started the investigation, the process of blacklisting had also started in the UPA regime. Antony quoted and proved that specifications of the helicopter were provided during Vajpayee’s regime.

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