Most regional parties were seen reluctant to back the Bharatiya Janata Party’s assault on the Congress over the AgustaWestland kickbacks case that has raged since the past week.
During the debate on the issue in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, arguments of outfits such as the Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal (United) seemed to weigh in favour of the principal opposition.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said that the then defence minister AK Antony had scrapped the deal, ordered a CBI inquiry, impounded three helicopters and withdrew bank guarantees. “So, there is no need to make a mountain out of a molehill. You (NDA) came to power in May 2014. Why didn’t you try to find out where the money went? Whose responsibility was this?” he said adding that specifications of the helicopters were changed during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
“Mamle mein dam nahin hai (there is no substance in the case),” said JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav challenging that “nothing will come out of it”.
“You (the government) bring the culprits to book but don’t make false accusations,” he said, adding that the government should probe the case and then come to the House. “This drama should be stopped. There are many other serious problems in the country.”
In an indirect rejection of the BJP’s offensive over the initials in a middleman’s handwritten note, the JD(U) leader said that his name had also got dragged in the Hawala case because of “SY” written in the hawala diary.
Trinamool Congress, fighting against the Left and the Congress in West Bengal polls, said there was a nexus between the BJP and the Congress. “This government has been in power for two years; even they have not taken action against a single person... Is there a milibhagat (collusion) between the Congress and the BJP?” said TMC’s Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.