Modi still thinks he is an RSS pracharak and not the PM, says Antony
AK Antony refuted the graft allegations in AgustaWestland scam and claimed that the BJP was exploiting the issue to target Congress president Sonia Gandhi.Kerala 2016 Updated: May 11, 2016 16:03 IST
The usually calm and reserved AK Antony has recently taken on a fiery avatar. The AgustaWestland deal, which was initiated during his tenure as the defence minister, has kicked off a political storm. Speaking to HT’s Ramesh Babu, Antony refuted the graft allegations and claimed that the BJP was exploiting the issue to target Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi was almost in tears while responding to PM’s jibes at her Italian roots.
PM Modi has denigrated his position by indulging in character assassination. He owes her an apology but we are not expecting him to do it since he refused to apologise even when innocents were massacred during his tenure as the Gujarat CM. He still feels he’s an RSS pracharak and not the PM.
The PM is claiming that an Italian court and not the Centre has said that bribes were paid to Indian leaders during the deal.
No names have been disclosed by any court. The CBI, ED and IB are under the Union government, they can pin those who erred in no time. BJP leaders can’t just shadow-box and indulge in their favourite pastime of character assassination.
You were the defence minister when the deal was struck but the BJP has given you a clean chit.
You have to understand the history of the deal. In 1999 a recommendation was made to replace the aging Mi-8 fleet. In 2002 the NDA government invited tenders for the same. Many firms came up but they failed to comply with the specifications. When Brajesh Mishra was the principal secretary to then PM AB Vajpayee the specifications were altered. The next government merely continued the procedure. If they had found anything incriminating then they should have blamed me and not the Congress president.
How do you see the UDF faring in the upcoming state elections?
It enjoys an upper hand. The development carried out by the Chandy government will pay rich dividends.
Certain constituencies are witnessing a three-way contest with the BJP entering the fray.
BJP is a threat to the secular fabric of the state. Though it is pumping in money, I don’t think it can make much headway in the state.
First Published: May 11, 2016 00:23 IST