The Congress chief should clarify “who received kickbacks in the VVIP chopper deal scam”, BJP president Amit Shah said, renewing his attack on Sonia Gandhi on Thursday.
“It has been established by an Italian court that kickbacks were given. Rather than saying she (Sonia) is not afraid of anyone, she should clarify who received the kickbacks,” Shah told reporters.
“I just want to ask who was in the power then? It was UPA and they are responsible. They should bring out the truth before the nation,” he added.
“When the National Herald (case) took place, then you say that ‘we are not afraid of anybody’, when the VVIP chopper scam takes place, then you say that ‘we are not afraid of anybody’,” Shah pointed out.
“You say you (Sonia Gandhi) are not scared of anything. We in the BJP fear the Constitution, rule of law and societal norms,” Shah said. “You are right in saying you are not afraid of anyone. This is the reason such cases (allegations of Congress’ involvement in chopper deal scam) come to the fore,” he added.
He said the Congress was a unique party whose corruption deals were coming out even two years after it was ousted from power.
“When the Congress was in power, its corruption deals were coming out every day. This is still going on even after two years of losing power.”
Shah’s remarks came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting with senior ministers over the scam.
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and his junior Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in parliament shortly before both houses met for the day.
Naidu replied that the government was pursuing the case with all seriousness.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has upped the ante against Gandhi, whose name figures in a judgment by an Italian court which sent Finmeccanica’s former CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland ex-head Bruno Spagnolini to jail for false accounting and corruption in the sale of 12 VVIP choppers to India.
The court ruling refers to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, her secretary Ahmad Patel and also former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi.
Gandhi and Singh have dismissed the bribery charges in the VVIP chopper scam amid the BJP’s attempts tried to corner the main Opposition party.
Gandhi said she was “not afraid” and dubbed the allegations as false. Singh and former defence minister AK Antony echoed the sentiment.
The Congress in turn accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to help the Italian firm which had been blacklisted. The issue sparked tensions in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.