Why no probe in India, because firm from Italy? BJP; NDA started deal, retorts Cong

AgustaWestland deal

BJP today brought Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the line of fire on the alleged kickbacks in the VVIP chopper purchase and raked up the Italian origin of the company as political parties demanded scrapping of the Rs 3,600 crore deal.

The parties also gave notice that they would raise the issue in the coming session of Parliament and sought to know who have received the commission and kickback which has been admitted by the Italian prosecution.

However, Congress hit back at the BJP, saying it was indulging in propaganda and planning to disrupt Parliament on the issue like it did in the case of 2G and other issues in the past. The party said the government promptly ordered a CBI probe and maintained that "nobody can be hanged" without proper investigation.

"Scam, scandal and corruption has become the defining feature of this government which keeps on appearing with alarming regularity causing great loss to government revenue.

"This is the most corrupt Union government since Independence. BJP is determined to raise this issue inside and outside Parliament and seek accountability from the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi and the Defence Minister," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told a press conference. The country must know who have received the commission and kickback when it is admitted by the Italian prosecution that huge commission has been paid, he said.

Asked about former Air Chief S P Tyagi's claim that during the NDA government in 2003 the requirements for the chopper were changed, Prasad said, "The NDA government did not order supply of the choppers. No commission was paid and no

choppers were bought."

Since Tyagi's name figures as one who swung the deal for bribes, Prasad said his statement should be "taken with a pinch of salt".

... contd.

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