AgustaWestland case: Sonia, Rahul never interfered in any defence deal, claims Antony; Shah targets Gandhis

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AgustaWestland case: Sonia, Rahul never interfered in any defence deal, claims Antony; Shah targets Gandhis

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi never interfered in the VVIP chopper deal or any defence contract in the course of the UPA regime, former defence minister AK Antony claime don Monday, at the same time as BJP President Amit Shah continued to focus on the Gandhis over their alleged involvement in the AgustaWestland bribery case. 

Antony, in his assertion, additionally accused the BJP and the federal government of “manufacturing” lies in regards to the Gandhi household. 

BJP’s marketing campaign in opposition to the 2 high Congress leaders:

In a sequence of tweets on Sunday, Shah mentioned the “friendship” between Christian Michel, the alleged intermediary in the deal, and Congress’ high management is “time tested and deep”. He additionally requested what is that this ‘Family Balm’ that each intermediary needs.

As a part of its nation-wide marketing campaign to assault the Congress over Michel’s assertion to the Enforcement Directorate(ED), the BJP fielded its chief ministers and high leaders in state capitals throughout the nation.

Yogi Adityanath, Devendra Fadnavis, Jai Ram Thakur and Trivendra Singh Rawat–the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand respectively–were amongst those that addressed information conferences.

Adityanath claimed that the Rs 3,700 crore AgustaWestland deal in the course of the UPA regime concerned a bribery of round Rs 360 crore, out of which the Congress leaders received Rs 150 crore. He, nonetheless, didn’t elaborate on his declare.

The BJP’s senior state leaders additionally spoke to reporters in Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, in response to a celebration chief in Delhi.

The BJP stepped up its assault on the Congress and its leaders in the wake of the alleged reference made by Michel about one “Mrs Gandhi”, as advised by the ED to a Delhi court docket.

The Congress, has, nonetheless, rejected the allegations and has counter-alleged that it was the Modi authorities that was a “protector, benefactor and promoter” of AgustaWestland because it lifted a ban imposed on the helicopter maker in the course of the UPA rule and allowed it to bid for 100 naval utility helicopters.

Antony seeks to clear Sonia, Rahul’s title:

“I would like to say categorically that (UPA chairperson) Sonia Gandhi and (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi never showed any interest … never interfered in the AgustaWestland deal. During my entire tenure as defence minister, Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi never interfered in any defence deal,” Antony advised a press convention in Parliament premises,

“The Government and the BJP are misusing agencies to manufacture lies. I am surprised to know that the present government is spreading lies….is trying to manufacture something out of nothing,” Antony mentioned.

“Without any iota of truth, they are trying to follow vendetta politics.”

Antony additional mentioned it was the Congress-led UPA authorities that ordered a CBI inquiry the second it got here to know of corruption allegations in the AgustaWestland deal and initiated proceedings to blacklist the corporate.

Antony claimed that the UPA authorities fought the case “unusually” in a Milan court docket in opposition to the chopper-making firm and received it too.

“We cancelled the contract and started proceedings of blacklisting. But after we left, the Modi government did nothing against AgustaWestland. Instead of acting against the company, they favoured the company,” he mentioned.

Antony mentioned if the Congress had something to cover, it could not have ordered a CBI probe or gone to Italy to battle the case.

On the BJP’s fees of the Congress being jittery ever since Michel was extradited to India, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala mentioned this was like “chor machaye shor” (the thief is making noise).

In his tweets, Shah requested if Michel needed particulars of his questioning by investigators to be handed onto “Mrs Gandhi”.

“Trails of the AgustaWestland Case…the SOS of Christian Michel. Does anyone know why Christian Michel passed on the details of questioning on Mrs Gandhi to his lawyer? Did he want them to be passed on to Mrs. Gandhi herself? Why?” he tweeted.

Shah mentioned Michel’s lawyer had admitted that the alleged intermediary certainly handed a paper to him and claimed that he thought it was an inventory of medicines.

In this context, the BJP president took an obvious swipe on the Gandhi household, saying individuals have heard of Zandu balm and Tiger balm — medicines used to alleviate ache — however what is that this “family balm” that each intermediary needs.

“In any case, what must be told again and again is the Congress background of Michel’s lawyer. The so called expulsion remains a sham. He remains the conduit between Michel and Mrs Gandhi!” Shah mentioned.

The Congress had expelled Aljo Okay Joseph, an workplace bearer in its youth wing, after he appeared as a counsel for Michel.

“In national interest, Michel’s lawyer must tell us about the existence of documents of 2008, which make a reference to Mrs Gandhi. Evidently, the friendship between Michel and one family in India is time tested and deep,” Shah mentioned.

Fadnavis mentioned Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi must reply questions associated to allegations of corruption in the AgustaWestland rip-off.

Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani claimed the Congress was attempting to present a “political colour” to the chopper case and questioned why the social gathering was afraid of a probe.

(With inputs from PTI)

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