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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Ravi Shankar Prasad flags Agusta details, asks why Congress is silent

Reading from the report in The Indian Express, Ravi Shankar Prasad flagged how Saxena said that Ratul Puri, Kamal Nath's nephew, had “instructed” him “not to give any document information/statement linking his father or his uncle in any matter.”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: November 18, 2020 6:44:57 am
Prasad reading out The Indian Express report. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Alleging that “no deal without a deal and no contract without a cut” was the hallmark of defence purchases by Congress governments, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called on the party Tuesday to come clean on the Agusta Westland revelations as reported in The Indian Express.

In an ongoing series, The Indian Express accessed the Enforcement Directorate interrogation statement of Rajiv Saxena, chartered accountant and prime accused in the Rs 3000-crore VVIP chopper deal.

Not just former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri, his son Bakul Nath; Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Ahmed Patel find mention in Saxena’s statement.

“No defence deal without a loot, no defence deal without a kickback and no defence deal without some Congress leaders becoming beneficiary of it has been the go-to policy of Congress leaders,” Prasad said.

“The BJP demands that the Congress party not maintain silence on this grave issue. The nation is awake and listening,” Prasad said. He added that Congress leaders, including its “president and the prince of the party who is preparing to be the president of the party,” should tell the nation about these revelations.

“Denials will not do now. There is documents and there is circumstantial evidence also,” the Minister said.

Reading from the report in The Indian Express, Prasad flagged how Saxena said that Ratul Puri, Kamal Nath’s nephew, had “instructed” him “not to give any document information/statement linking his father or his uncle in any matter.”

Though the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-2 government had ordered a CBI inquiry but no progress was made until the BJP-led NDA government was formed in May 2014. Thereafter, arrests were made in the case, Prasad said.

When contacted by The Indian Express, both Nath and Khurshid had denied any links to the accused. Nath had said he had nothing to do with Puri’s business and there was no evidence to connect his son, Bakul Nath, to the company Pristine River named in the statement. Khurshid had said that he didn’t know Puri or Saxena and was a “close family friend,” of Dev Mohan Gupta, the father of accused defence dealer Sushen Mohan Gupta.

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