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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

BJP demands SIT probe in chopper scam

PTI  Hyderabad, February 15, 2013
First Published: 12:54 IST(15/2/2013) | Last Updated: 13:47 IST(15/2/2013)

Doubting the UPA government's intentions in conducting an impartial probe into the VVIP chopper deal, BJP on Friday demanded that a Special Investigation Team be set up to investigate the matter under a monitoring mechanism.


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The SIT probe should be done under the supervision of either the Supreme Court or a parliamentary committee, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said in Hyderabad.

"Because the Congress is notoriously known for misusing CBI for partisan political ends. That's why for BJP the suggestion of a CBI inquiry is not acceptable. Because, CBI has no credibility and the government's intention is also doubtful.

"Because this issue was raised in 2011 in Parliament and also a letter was written to the defence minister, in spite of that, government did not act so far," he told reporters.

The government talked about a CBI inquiry only after a case was filed over the issue in Italy and the "revelations" came to light that "payments were made to Indian middlemen also," he said.

"We do not have confidence in CBI. Because we have seen how the CBI, the governor's institution, the Income Tax department, the enforcement directorate and all other organisations are being misused by the government, one, to harass political opponents, second, to keep its allies under control and third, to win over neutrals," he alleged.

Claiming that the government was trying to side-track the issue by saying that it began when NDA was in power, Naidu maintained that "nothing started in NDA regime."  BJP would not mind even if the inquiry covered from 2003 (when NDA was in power), he said.

BJP would corner the government over the VVIP chopper deal issue during the coming session of Parliament, Naidu said.

Replying to a query on the VVIP chopper deal, Naidu said: "That's why these Italian connections have to be probed. Natural doubts are arising in the minds of the people. I do not want to name any individuals without direct proof.

"But, my point is why the government kept quiet from 2011 to now, after Prakash Javadekar raised the issue in Parliament and also wrote a letter to defence minister. The minister told that they will conduct an inquiry. Two years have passed and the government did not act. Why? Who compelled the government not to act?

"That's why suspicion is there on the government. Let there be an impartial inquiry. Let the truth come out. I am not naming anybody," Naidu said.

All aspects of the deal, like who signed the contract, who were the middlemen and what were their connections, need to be looked into, he said.

Reiterating BJP's serious objection to Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde's reported allegation against BJP vis-a-vis terror, he said his party would not attend any meetings convened by him unless he apologises or withdraws his remarks.

BJP would also highlight price rise, farmers's suicides, the issue of separatist leader Yasin Malik sharing dais with a terrorist mastermind in Pakistan, the alleged loan waiver scam among others, he said.

To another query on firing by Pakistani troops along the border, he alleged that the government's response on terror aided by Pakistan has been weak and that tough measures are needed to be taken against the neighbouring country.


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