Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI file photo 01 May 2016 | 11:46 AM
NEW DELHI: I will place a detailed chronology of events on the AgustaWestland chopper deal with supporting documents before Parliament on May 4, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.[ + read story ]
New Delhi, May 1
I will place a detailed chronology of events on the AgustaWestland chopper deal with supporting documents before Parliament on May 4, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.
The Minister’s statement comes as the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party continue to trade charges on suspected corruption in the deal.
"I will place the detailed chronology, giving facts about the chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. I will place the detailed chronology, giving how and when necessary clauses or provisions were relaxed to suit the company," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a function.
"Those who received kickbacks will not leave behind the proof for us to prosecute them, but we will have to prove it (that kickbacks were received)," he said.
"It is for us to prove everything now. Since the issue would be placed in Parliament, I would not like to speak in detail to media," the Defence Minister further said.
"Why no action was taken against the company till 2014?
Why was the company not blacklisted by then UPA government?" Parrikar questioned.
"I challenge the Congress to show the UPA government's order blacklisting the AgustaWestland company. Let them reply first why it was not banned. It was during our NDA) government that we banned it," he said.
Earlier on Sunday, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh asked the Congress to face investigations if it felt it had nothing to hide.
“On the one hand Congress claims they are innocent. And on the other, they are making a big issue out of it. They are ones who should welcome a probe so that at end of day they are able to vindicate themselves,” Singh said.
“Sonia Gandhi says that she is not afraid of the Constitution and the CBI. Those Congress leaders who are saying that they have nothing to hide should come out and prove it,” he added.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the truth would prevail eventually.
“We are aware of the fact that way back in 2013, when we were discussing these deals and even then the Bharatiya Janata Party had raised pertinent questions and had pointed fingers towards the then UPA president and the driving force of UPA, that was Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and today when appellate court of Milan has delivered its judgement, where the name of Sonia Gandhi ji is and name of the advisors of the UPA,” Patra said.
“As far as the question being asked to the Congress Party is concerned, the whole country wants to know the truth behind the AgustaWestland deal. The country is asking where the money has gone and who the bribe takers are. The investigative agencies are doing their job,” he added.
Parrikar had recently challenged the Congress to show the order by the UPA government confirming the blacklisting.
AgustaWestland was not blacklisted during the UPA rule, top Modi government sources had recently claimed, asserting it was the NDA government that had put on hold all acquisition proposals with the VVIP chopper scam-tainted firm.
AgustaWestland's Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force that the central government had cancelled in 2013 for alleged bribes paid to Indian agents.
Investigations were referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. — Agencies
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