Seeking an apology from Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for speaking a blatant lie that they had blacklisted Finmeccanica, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy on Friday demanded either the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha tender an apology or the breach of privilege committee passes a censure with some punishment on him.
“The issue is that he told a lie, which all his party people are recycling, that they had blacklisted Finmeccanica and we had withdrawn that. That’s a blatant lie,” Swamy told reporters outside the Parliament.
“I went through the Defence Ministry record, which had been made public. I made an extracts of it and had given it to the chairman. It clearly shows the first time this matter was dealt with was by the new BJP government on July 3, 2014, when they said that we are suspending all actions of the Ministry of Defence in making purchases from Finmeccanica till the court decides the matter,” Swamy divulged.
“Now on the basis, they also said if there are some spare parts, which are on the way, or some important parts of the helicopters are on the way, those we will not block. Only new purchases we will not allow,” he added.
“That did not apply to the private sector buying from Finmeccanica or Mr. Tata (Ratan) making a deal with them. So, to say that they first blacklisted is a lie, because Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad was a member of the cabinet, he should know that very well; and two, to say that we withdrew it, that’s even a bigger lie,” Swamy contended.
The Congress party, however, dared the government to come out with the truth in AgustaWestland deal instead of tarnishing its image.
Briefing media in New Delhi, Azad alleged that the ruling party is spreading lies and misinformation in the matter.
He said the government should make progress in the inquiry ordered during the UPA regime and punish those who have taken bribe.
“The entire Cabinet has been tasked to defame the Congress party. If the government has power then it should prove the charges within two months. Intimidation will serve no purpose,” said Azad.