AgustaWestland: Antony rules out resignation, says ready for Parl session

AK Antony

Bracing to face Opposition heat over chopper scam in Parliament, Defence Minister A K Antony today said the government has "nothing to hide" and is prepared for a discussion even as he played down reports of his resignation.

"I will do my duty. I am now getting ready for the Parliament session. We will explain everything to Parliament. We have nothing to hide. Our hands are very clean," Antony told reporters on being asked whether he would resign.

Reacting to BJP's allegations that the Defence Ministry was "sleeping" over the reports of corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore deal for 12 VVIP choppers, he said, "I cannot wake up anybody who is sleeping".

The Defence Ministry had started taking action on the issue from day one when first media reports in this regard came in, Antony said.

Addressing a press conference at a BrahMos Aerospace function, he said there were no differences between different ministries on the process to scrap the deal and the whole government was working together.

Antony said he was "sad and upset" over the controversy which had erupted despite all precautions having been taken. "Now we are preparing to face Parliament."

The minister was asked if he was sad over the whole episode and was resigning on the issue taking a high moral ground.

Antony said he was upset over the alleged scam as despite blacklisting six firms in one scam for which he was accused of slowing down modernisation, such an incident has happened as "there was no end to human greed and still greedy people were working around the world".

Antony said in the procurement process for the AgustaWestland choppers, all wings of the government including the ministry, IAF and SPG had "followed all the procedures. In spite of that one thing is clear that something happened somewhere".

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