AgustaWestland chopper scam: ‘Sonia overruled Antony, gave nod’

Addressing the media in New Delhi, BJP spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi overrode objections raised by then defence minister A K Antony regarding field trial of the choppers.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 1, 2016 10:00 am
VVIP Chopper deal, VVIP chopper scam, AgustaWestland, AgustaWestland chopper scam, Arun Jaitley. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, AK Antony, UPA, NDA, india news Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI Photo

Making a fresh attack on the Congress leadership, the BJP on Saturday claimed that the UPA brass overrode objections raised by its own defence minister over relaxations extended to AgustaWestland choppers.

Addressing the media in New Delhi, BJP spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi overrode objections raised by then defence minister A K Antony regarding field trial of the choppers.

Referring to the recent verdict of an Italian court, Rao alleged, “Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel are in the dock. They are architects of the scam.” He added that the real size of the “scam” is bigger than what has come to light so far.

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Refuting Congress’s claim that AgustaWestland was blacklisted during the UPA regime, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in Thiruvananthapuram to release the NDA’s vision document ahead of Kerala Assembly polls, said: “This is a figment of somebody’s imagination…. The buck stops with those who took the decision, and the decision was influenced by bribery…. There is a transaction in which (the) bribe-giver is being convicted. We are only struggling to find out the identity of bribe-taker…Those who influenced (the) decision get bribes.”

Also Read | UPA must answer who received kickbacks in Agusta deal, says Manohar Parrikar

In Delhi, Rao said, “A K Antony had questioned the proposal to have the field trial abroad. This is what the CAG report also cites…The Defence Minister wants RFP (request for proposals) conditions to be imposed. Who in the UPA or who in the Congress other than Sonia Gandhi and her adviser Ahmed Patel, has the authority to override Antony (and) his objections? The only one (leader) who could tell him to keep quiet, who could silence him, was Sonia Gandhi.”

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