Kolkata: Instead of political posturing, the Narendra Modi government should ensure speedy investigation into the Augusta Westland chopper deal and bring to trial all the wrong-doers, CPI(M) said today. “The nexus of ruling politicians-bureaucrats and senior military officials is such that despite a number of defence deal scandals, the system of corruption has not been uncovered. “Instead of political posturing on the matter, the Modi government should ensure that the investigation is speedily concluded and all those involved in receiving the kickbacks are brought to trial and prosecuted,” CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.
The CPI(M) statement comes close on the heels of BJP’s move to target Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other party leaders on the issue in a bid to corner the main opposition which has been paralysing Rajya Sabha on Uttarakhand crisis. “The conviction of two top former officials of the Finmeccanica and its subsidiary AgustaWestland on charges of bribery in the sale of 12 helicopters to India has once again brought to fore the corruption involved in the defence deal,” the statement said.
“The Italian investigation and the court verdict has found that Rs 360 crore was paid as bribe in India. When the matter came to light after the investigations in Italy, the UPA government had cancelled the contract and ordered a CBI investigation. However, as is evident, no real progress was made in the investigation during UPA’s tenure,” it said. The statement said CPI(M) had then demanded that the CBI probe be supervised by Supreme Court.
However, two years have passed since the Modi government came to power and there has been no serious pursuit of investigation. There had been no substantial progress even though at the Italian end, all the material relevant to the matter has been placed before the appeal court and the verdict given, it added.