The BJP on Saturday attacked the Congress on the Bofors issue, questioning CBI's "sincerity" in having Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi extradited from Argentina where he has been detained.
Accusing the Congress-led government of holding back the information of Quattrochi's arrest, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley alleged the concealment was "intended to save the Congress from embarrassment during the state assembly elections."
"The secrecy was also meant to delay the process of CBI complying with legal formalities to enable his extradition," he alleged.
The detention of the Italian businessman, prime accused in the payoffs case, came to limelight only yesterday though he was arrested by the Interpol in Argentina on February 6.
Dubbing Quattrochi as a "gift of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to India", Jaitley said, "It is the Congress government, which enabled Quattrochi to escape...(and) de-freezing of his account in London."
The BJP also accused the Congress of helping the Italian businessman escape from the country during the Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao's regime.
"His escape was organised to put a lid on the question as to whether the payoffs were meant only for him or whether they were held for the benefit of his political patrons," Jaitley said, without taking names.