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Chopper deal: BJP alleges involvement of a 'big political leader' in scam

PTI  New Delhi, February 16, 2013
First Published: 16:32 IST(16/2/2013) | Last Updated: 16:33 IST(16/2/2013)

The BJP on Saturday asked the government to come clean on the internal inquiry initiated by it in the VVIP chopper deal and alleged the involvement of a "big political leader" in the scam.

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The main opposition party also accused the government of trying to "cover-up" the issue by not allowing various probe agencies to look into the deal and keeping Parliament in the dark over the internal probe being carried out in it.

"This kind of monumental corruption cannot happen without the backing of a big political leader. The country wants to know who were behind the scam," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in New Delhi.

He said, "The CAG and every other agency want to inquire and government has dissuaded them. Government tried to cover up and not divulge anything on the issue. Even they did not tell Parliament that an internal inquiry was being conducted on the Augusta Westland chopper deal."

Javadekar also sought to know as to what action the government proposed to take against those found involved in the internal inquiry conducted by it into the chopper deal.

"Who conducted the internal inquiry and on whose instructions and how they came out with the inquiry and its result. What action the government proposes to take against officers involved in this inquiry," he said.

The Rs. 3,760-crore Agusta Westland VVIP chopper deal has been under the scanner for the past one year and Defence Minister A K Antony had told Parliament last November that if any wrongdoing was found in the deal, "suitable penalty measures" would be taken by the Ministry.

Antony had last year sought a report from the Indian Embassy in Rome following media reports and allegations on malpractices in the procurement of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland and to ascertain the role of the consultant hired by Finmeccanica to facilitate the deal with India. Finmeccanica is the parent company of Agusta Westland.


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