Countering the allegations levelled against him by Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav on Thursday, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said his name has been needlessly dragged into a chopper deal, dubbing the charges as “politically motivated”.
Addressing a joint press conference in Delhi, the former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders claimed irregularities in the purchase of an A-109 chopper in 2007 by the Chhattisgarh government and demanded a probe against Raman Singh.
“It was fraudulent tender and the ruling BJP paid hefty commission for the purchase of one chopper in 2007. The tender rules were seriously bypassed,” the duo charged as they also linked Abhishek, son of Raman Singh, to the Panama Papers leak.
Bhushan also tweeted with the documents and challenged the chief minister to sue him if he was wrong.
Singh rejected the charges. “The allegations are baseless and politically motivated. There was no irregularity in the deal and was accomplished through the global tendering process where complete transparency was maintained during the procurement process,” the chief minister told a press conference called late Thursday evening at his official residence.
The allegations are based on the CAG report submitted for the year 2011. The report didn’t cite any scam or irregularity but pointed out the delay in procurement of the chopper that led to the additional expenditure of Rs 65 lakh to the state exchequer, the CM added.
“The issue will come up in the state assembly,” he said.
Meanwhile Abhishek Singh too denied any link with the chopper deal and also rejected the charge that he had offshore bank accounts.
The opposition Congress sought explanation from the state government as to why the same chopper that was bought by the Jharkhand government for $ 55 lakh, was purchased by the Raman Singh government for $ 65 lakh.
The opposition Congress demanded resignation from the chief minister and a high level independent probe into Abhishek’s offshore accounts.