We banned AgustaWestland, but NDA govt opened door again, says Congress

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala released 10 questions which, he said, the Modi government must answer to clarify its stand in the AgustaWestland case.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 28, 2016 7:20 am
AgustaWestland, vvip chopper, vvip chopper scam, congress vvip chopper scam, vvip chopper deal, pratap rudy chopper deal, mea, modi, pm modi, italy, Italy PM, Matteo Renzi A K Antony at Parliament House on Wednesday. Praveen Jain

Launching its counter-attack, the Congress on Wednesday said its government had banned and blacklisted AgustaWestland, but the Narendra Modi government had renewed the relationship.

Addressing a press conference, former Defence Minister A K Antony dismissed charges that the party leadership had benefited from the helicopter contract. “These are all baseless, malicious allegations. There is not an iota of truth in all this. Otherwise, all the facts and documents are in possession of this government for the last two years. Why has it not acted against anyone?” he said.

Watch Video | Agusta Westland: Why Is It A Big Deal Politically Now?

The Congress, in a statement, said Modi and his government were “seeking to weave a web of lies, perpetuate falsehoods and construct a mesh of deception to hoodwink the people of India” in the AgustaWestland case.

Read: Govt says bribe-giver convicted, will identify taker, Sonia says do the probe

Antony said the then UPA government had acted against the company “the minute” it was informed about alleged wrongdoings. “We had asked the CBI to inquire into the case on February 12, 2013. In February 2014, we had initiated the process to blacklist AgustaWestland, its parent company Finmeccanica and all its subsidiaries. We also initiated proceedings for encashing bank guarantees and recovered an amount of Rs 2068 crore. Three helicopters of AgustaWestland have remained confiscated with us,” he said.

Read: VVIP helicopter deal: Behind the moving parts

But, claimed Antony, the Modi government had warmed up to the company again, inviting it to participate in Make in India events and even allowing it to bid for contracts.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala released 10 questions which, he said, the Modi government must answer to clarify its stand in the AgustaWestland case. He asked why the NDA government had allowed the company to escape the ban and why its investment, through a joint venture with Tata, was cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Read: Judgment not against us…hang me if they find anything against me, says Ahmed Patel

He claimed the Modi government had allowed Agusta-Westland to bid for 100 Naval utility helicopters in April last year. Surjewala said former IAF chief S P Tyagi, who is under the scanner in the case, was linked to the Vivekananda Foundation, the organisation with which National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Principal Secretary to PM Nripendra Mishra were associated earlier.

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  1. H
    Hari
    Apr 28, 2016 at 5:27 am
    "We banned AgustaWestland, but NDA govt opened door again, says Congress" - Yes, you banned the company after taking bribes from it. You banned it so the facts of corruption do not come out. What was required is to uncover the truth - who the bribe takers are. As the facts are emerging, Sonia hi is the main culprit.
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    1. M
      MyTake
      Apr 29, 2016 at 7:40 pm
      There is a subcontinental saying: partner of a thief shouts the most - police police!!!
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      1. S
        Shuchit
        Apr 28, 2016 at 8:37 am
        IE never expected such journalism from you . i think it was 3/4/2014 is when it was banned and it was NDA govt at that time. You guys are really turning out to be biased media
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        1. H
          Hindu
          Apr 28, 2016 at 3:39 am
          EVERY LOOT that the Congress executed in last 60 years AND from 2004 thro' 2014 were LEGAL because India was Gifted to Nehru as DAHEJ from his Bed-partner Edwina Mountbatten. The RUMOUR says the Lord M sat in the room while Nehru was "entertaining" Edwina in her Bed !!!
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          1. H
            Hindu
            Apr 28, 2016 at 3:35 am
            SONIA hi and her COHORTS must be DIS-ROBED in Public for Robbing the Nation.
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