Salman Khurshid asks opposition not to politicise chopper deal issue

Salman Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said that all procedures were "strictly followed" by the UPA government in the controversial VVIP chopper deal and the matter should not be politicised.

"I don't think it is right to politicise the issue. It is a matter of national interest. All procedures were strictly followed by the government," he told Indian journalists accompanying him on a two-day visit to Bangladesh.

Asked whether steps were being taken to cancel the deal with AugustaWestland for delivery of helicopters, he said, "the government has issued a show-cause notice to them. There are procedures involved which have to be followed."

To a question on the names of top dignitaries coming up in the matter like the President or Governors, Khurshid said "I don't think there could have been better and tighter compliance of procedures in the matter. We shouldn¿t involve them at all."

He asked all political parties, including the Opposition, "not to get distracted from the core issue. The core issue is to get to the bottom of the facts."

On whether the matter would come up during the upcoming visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Khurshid said the issue was not on the agenda, but it could come up as it has come up only recently.

Asked why didn't the government react to the scandal earlier, Khurshid said, "we attempted to get details but there were procedural issues and therefore, there was paucity of information. Now that the investigations (in Italy) have reached the stage for making an arrest, that is indicative of the seriousness.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.