BJP for SIT probe into chopper deal monitored by SC, Parl panel


"The Indian government is trying to divert attention from the scam and misguide people," he said, insisting that "somebody very high" appears to be involved in the scam.

Defence Minister A K Antony had on Tuesday ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of huge kickbacks being paid to middlemen in the Rs 3600 crore deal for purchase of 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters for VVIP security.

Naidu said his party was not averse to the probe covering the period when BJP helmed the Central government.

Jaswant Singh, former Defence Minister in the NDA government, had yesterday admitted that parameters for purchase of these helicopters, that made AgustaWestland eligible to participate in the bidding process, were changed on the directions of then National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra but defended the decision saying it was done to avoid a single-vendor situation.

Naidu said BJP would corner the government over the chopper deal in the coming Parliament session.

Replying to a query, he said Italian connections in the deal needed to be probed.

"Italian connections have to be probed. Natural doubts are arising in the minds of the people. I do not want to name any individual without having direct proof.

"But, my point is why the government kept quiet from 2011 to now, after Prakash Javadekar raised the issue in Parliament and also wrote a letter to Defence Minister. The minister told that they will conduct an inquiry. Two years have passed and the government did not act. Why? Who compelled the government not to act?" he said.

All aspects of the deal, like who signed the contract, who were the middlemen and what were their connections, needed to be looked into, he said.

In New Delhi, BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi demanded that a Supreme Court monitored probe should be ordered in the scam.

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