VVIP chopper scam rocks Parliament; RS adjourned, Cong walks out in LS

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 09, 2016 12:32 IST
Congress MPs protesting in the Rajya Sabha over the AgustaWestland issue. (ANI)

The Congress on Monday said that Prime Minister Modi must make a statement in the Parliament on the AgustaWestland issue.

Protesting party MPs trooped into the well of the Rajya Sabha, demanding that the PM come to the House and make a statement.

Following the protest, the Upper House was adjourned first till 11:42 am and later till 12:36 pm.

The issue also rocked the Lok Sabha with the Congress members staging a walkout in protest against PM Modi’s remarks on Sonia Gandhi at a Tamil Nadu poll rally.

Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the “terrorised” Congress is trying to project the AgustaWestland scam as August revolution, adding that it won’t get any political benefit from doing so.

“They are terrorized and restless and that’s why they are talking rubbish. It seems they are trying to project the Agusta corruption as August revolution, in which the leader is protesting sitting on dharna and doing satyagraha. This is not a freedom fight but a campaign that is going on in regard to corruption and scam,” minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ANI.

“So, if you try to get political benefit from that, it won’t help. It is our advice to those who are desperate to let the law do its job. The innocent should not be worried and it is normal for the guilty to be worried,” he added.

Naqvi further stated that the middlemen are becoming restless and the brokers are being terrorized, which is a clear sign that the fearless brokers are very much worried.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is questioning former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi in connection with the scam.

The agency last week questioned Tyagi and his cousins, Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep besides advocate Gautam Khaitan questioning them about finances, firms established by them and their relations with European middlemen in helicopter deal.

The questioning revolved around accounts of IDS Tunisia and remittances received by it. CBI claimed that Khaitan was being evasive during questioning and concealing information.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar earlier last week, without taking names, had attacked top Congress leaders, suggesting their involvement in the VVIP chopper scam during a reply to a discussion in the Parliament.

Alleging that the procurement process in the AgustaWestland deal was violated, Parrikar said that the former UPA regime had created ‘single-vendor situation’ to benefit from the same.

Parrikar said the UPA regime tried to take the longer route of writing to the embassy and the court etc. instead of taking action against the company.

He also said that the government probe ‘will focus on the role of those named in the judgment of the Italian court.

The Agusta deal was signed in 2010 and was cancelled in 2014, after the allegations of corruption surfaced.

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