BJP leader Subramanium Swamy on Friday sought a discussion in Rajya Sabha over reports that money was allegedly paid to middlemen for managing the Indian media to produce favourable news on the AgustaWestland deal.
During the Zero Hour, the nominated member said the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its 47th report laid on May 7, 2013 had dealt with the issue of ‘paid news’.
“Now the paid news has acquired the character of a cancer in our democracy. Recently in the AgustaWestland deal also. Perhaps one of the news channels had published a contract, which was signed between the middlemen and the company for managing the Indian media to produce favourable reports on the deal,” he alleged.
“I am rising here to request the House, through you (Deputy Chairman P J Kurien), that this is an important matter that should be discussed in short duration in the House,” he said.
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On Thursday, the BJP had raised the AgustaWestland chopper deal issue in Lok Sabha, expressing concern over the reported misuse of media by the Italian company which had earmarked Rs 50 crore for the purpose to clinch the VVIP chopper deal.
Meenakshi Lekhi had suggested that middleman Christian Michel had been given the amount to ‘manage’ the media.
Reports had it that Christian Michel, a British businessman and an alleged middleman in the deal, was paid millions of dollars by AgustaWestland.
Interpol had issued a red corner notice against Michel on India’s request in December 2015.