New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday renewed attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the AgustaWestland VIP chopper deal, asking on whose behest the terms of the contract were tweaked. “When the Agusta chopper deal was being finalised, Sonia Gandhi was the Congress president and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power. Their ministers were negotiating the deal,” Shah said.”The tender had the condition that only original equipment manufacturers could file the tender. Still AgustaWestland, despite not being an original equipment manufacturer, was allowed to file the tender. Now my question to Sonia Gandhi is — on whose behest this tampering with the original conditions was done,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president also asked why the conditions for the chopper’s field trial in India were relaxed and the trial done in the company’s premises.”Is it not against the interests of the country? Was the then defence minister not responsible for it?” he asked. Shah alleged that despite reports of corruption and bribery in connection with the deal appearing in the Italian media soon after the tender was finalised, the then Indian government did not put the contract on hold.
“The Congress is trying to mislead the people by saying that the entire amount of money paid to AgustaWestland has been retrieved. This is incorrect as only a little amount has been recovered,” Shah said. He demanded that Sonia Gandhi should come clear on the issue and give a statement in the media on this.