AgustaWestland helicopter deal: Govt failed to check graft, scrap dead- Left

The CPM Wednesday demanded cancellation of the VVIP helicopter contract with AgustaWestland. It said the UPA government has failed to check high-level corruption in defence contracts during its eight years in office.

"Though the investigations in Italy into this bribery case was known for the past few months, the UPA government chose not to do anything on the plea of lack of 'specific information'," the CPM said.

"Even now, when the Defence Ministry has ordered a CBI probe, the plea has been repeated that no specific information has been received so far from the governments concerned UK and Italy. The entire report of the investigation by the Italian authorities has been reported in the media, yet the UPA government seeks to shelter behind this specious reason," it said.

Saying that the arrest of the Finmeccanica CEO in Italy had exposed the massive corruption involved in the deal, the party said the contract should be cancelled and the CBI probe should be monitored by the SC.

"The probe should not drag for years. We are going to raise the issue in the Budget Session and the Defence Minister will have to answer," said CPM's Sitaram Yechury.

CPI leader D Raja demanded a statement from the government on defence purchases. "We have seen the Bofors scam, coffin scam and recently a former army chief has said that he was offered bribe to sanction sub-standard trucks. This shows that there is something seriously rotten in the defence establishment," he said.

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