Chopper deal: Parrikar to place facts in Parliament on May 4, Cong not enthused

PANAJI/CHENNAI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said he will place all facts along with the detailed chronology about the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal before Parliament on May 4, amid a row over blacklisting of the company and graft allegations.

The Congress, however, appeared not to be enthused with its Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala saying Parrikar should first answer why the Modi Government “undid” the blacklisting of AgustaWestland company.

The BJP on its part again trained its guns on Congress President Sonia Gandhi as its national secretary Shrikant Sharma ridiculed her remarks that she was “not afraid of anyone cornering her” and said, “Congress does not fear anybody because it does not maintain dignity of public life (lok lajja).”

Questioning Sonia over the issue of bribes allegedly received by Indians in the chopper deal, another BJP leader Subramanian Swamy once again sought to link her to the deal.

“I will place the detailed chronology, giving facts about the chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. I will place the detailed chronology, giving how and when necessary clauses or provisions were relaxed to suit the company,” Parrikar told reporters in Panaji on the sidelines of a function.

“Those who received kickbacks will not leave behind the proof for us to prosecute them, but we will have to prove it (that kickbacks were received),” he said.

“It is for us to prove everything now. Since the issue would be placed in Parliament, I would not like to speak in detail to media,” the Defence Minister further said.

“Why no action was taken against the company till 2014? Why was the company not blacklisted by then UPA Government?” Parrikar questioned.

“I challenge the Congress to show the UPA Government’s order blacklisting the AgustaWestland company. Let them reply first why it was not banned. It was during our (NDA) Government that we banned it,” he said.

Parrikar had recently challenged the Congress to show the order by the UPA Government confirming the blacklisting.

Surjewala said Parrikar should also answer why within 40 days of banning the company, he passed an order re-permitting the company to participate through a sub-contractor.

“Does Modiji and Parrikarji not realise they are in power? Is CBI not with Central Government? Is Enforcement Directorate not with Central Government? Why has the Modi Government undone the blacklisting of AugustaWestland? Why Manohar Parrikarkji is not answering,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.

Surjewala said levelling allegations against Congress leadership is reprehensible and condemnable, and mudslinging and muck-raising has become BJP’s character. (PTI)


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