Rahul counters BJP charges on AgustaWestland deal

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 04, 2016 18:26 IST
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday he did purchase shops in a mall owned by real estate developer Emaar MGF Land Ltd in Delhi as he countered Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya’s charges against him and an aide in the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal.

“Yes I did and it is on my affidavit. What is wrong in it?” asked Gandhi.

Somaiya alleged that Gandhi bought shops in a south Delhi mall owned by Emaar-MGF, a firm founded by relatives of his close aide Kanishka Singh in 2005.

The BJP leader also accused Singh of owning shares in the real estate company that also has Guido Ralph Haschke, one of the middlemen in the AgustaWestland deal who paid bribes in exchange for the Anglo-Italian firm to be chosen as the supplier of 12 helicopters to India, as a director on its board.

The deal was cancelled in 2014 by the Indian government after Italian investigations uncovered details of kickbacks.

Read: Happy to be targeted, says Rahul Gandhi on AgustaWestland issue

The Congress vice-president had dared the ruling BJP on Tuesday and said that he has always under attack from the ruling party.

“I am always being targeted, happy to be targeted,” Gandhi said while reacting to the BJP member’s allegations.

Haschke, Somaiya also alleged, was also involved in the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam.

“Emaar-MGF was involved in the CWG scam. There too, there was Guido Haschke. This cannot be a mere coincidence,” Somaiya told ANI earlier.

Singh rubbished Somaiya’s allegations on Tuesday as ‘malafide’ and ‘baseless’.

“Mr Somaiya’s allegations about me are entirely baseless, false and with an ulterior political motive. Somaiya has been making these false allegations about me with malafide intent since February 2013,” Singh said in a statement.

He demanded that Somaiya should provide proof about it at the earliest which could facilitate a proper investigation and prosecution of the guilty. He also said it is up to the agencies to investigate whether officials of AgustaWestland were involved with Emaar-MGF or not.

Read: No business links with Rahul Gandhi’s aide, clarifies Emaar MGF

Congress also issued a statement in Singh’s defence saying he has absolutely nothing to do with the matter.

“Singh wishes for parties, including AgustaWestland or Haschke or Emaar-MGF, to be punished in the harshest possible way if found guilty,” Congress said in a statement.

“Kanishka Singh has nothing to do with (it) and has been on estranged terms with the Rajiv Gupta family (Emaar-MGF) who, though related, fell out in 2005 when Rajiv Gupta propounded a Will of Ved Prakash Gupta, which Kanishka Singh and his mother say is a case of forgery and fabrication, and the matter has been pending in court since then,” it added.

(With ANI and IANS inputs)

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