New Delhi: Hitting back at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah for his recent remarks on Sonia Gandhi over the AgustaWestland chopper deal controversy, the Congress party on Friday said the person who was barred by the Supreme Court (SC) from entering Gujarat need not teach them ‘law of the land’.
Congress spokesperson Randeep 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.
“Amit Shah ji should show more maturity, he shouldn’t teach us the law of the land. Is he not the same person who was expelled from entering Gujarat by SC’s order?,” Surjewala said.
He said that the BJP-led Government was protecting ‘bribe-givers’ by allowing AgustaWestland to take part in the Union Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
“Why is Modi Govt protecting bribe-giving co. #AgustaWestland? Why not do anything for two years when CBI conduced inquiry?,” he asked.
Surjewala said the present Government sanctioned Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) permission to Indian Rotorcraft Company on October 8 in 2015, which is the same company that is in partnership with Tata and AgustaWestland.
“Indian Rotorcraft Company is a partnership between Tatas and AgustaWestland. Will Defence Min answer?,” he added.
Shah 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.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu earlier today said the government is pursuing the case with all seriousness.
Naidu, who was talking to the media outside Parliament, wondered why the Congress is accusing the ruling dispensation of the deal which was not even signed in its tenure.
Former defence minister and senior Congressman A.K. Antony, however, countered the BJP’s accusations and said the NDA Government should speed up the inquiry by the CBI which the UPA had ordered in the case.
Antony said the truth should come out and the middleman be punished.
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.