New Delhi: Emphasising that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not consider Sonia Gandhi as his main political opponent, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday hinted at a nexus between the two and further dared the former to arrest the Congress president in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper deal case.
Kejriwal said, “An Italian Court has said that bribes were paid in the Agusta Westland deal. That order has Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel’s names. Why isn’t Modi government probing the matter and arresting them? Police should take them to remand and question them.”
“They won’t arrest Sonia Gandhi. Modi ji doesn’t spare a minute to put his political opponents behind the bars, so it means that Sonia Gandhi is not his political opponent. It has been two years, they have not even questioned Robert Vadra. The nexus between Gandhi family and Modi ji is coming to light now. If you have guts then arrest Sonia ji,” he added.
Kejriwal said the investigative agencies would have ‘dragged’ him to prison, if his name had appeared in the AgustaWestland deal scam instead of Sonia Gandhi.
“In case there was my name there instead of Sonia ji, Modi ji would have arrested me immediately. All the agencies would have come to my doorsteps and would have dragged me and arrested me. But they are not doing this to Sonia ji, why?” he said.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had earlier today hit back at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah for his recent remarks on Sonia Gandhi over the AgustaWestland chopper deal controversy. He said the person who was barred by the Supreme Court (SC) from entering Gujarat need not teach them ‘law of the land’.
Surjewala also trained guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre over the issue, asking why the latter did not take action in the case after coming to power two years back.
Shah had yesterday asked Sonia Gandhi to come clear in the AgustaWestland controversy and said those in power during the former UPA regime were responsible for it. Continuing his tirade against Gandhi, Shah said it is quite amazing that the flip-flops of the UPA came to the fore when it was in power, adding the same has grabbed eyeballs even now.
The Congress president yesterday alleged that the NDA Government was indulging in the politics of character assassination and blatant lies over the AgustaWestland chopper deal, while refuting allegations being labelled against her.
James Christian Michel, the accused middleman in the chopper deal, has offered himself up for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Michel told The Hindu from Dubai earlier this week that he was willing to answer all questions from the Indian investigators in order ‘to clear’ his name, but insisted he had never met the Congress president or a ‘single Gandhi’ in his life.
Agusta Westland’s Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force was scrapped by the UPA government over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents. In January 2013, India cancelled the deal and the CBI was assigned to investigate the matter.