Clear guilt complex

The expulsion of a young lawyer by the Congress party who represented the middleman in the Agusta Westland deal exposes its guilty conscience. Lawyer Aljo Joseph was summarily expelled from the Youth Congress when he appeared for Christian Michel in a Delhi court after he had been flown in from Dubai in a special plane. Joseph had instructed Congress leaders and workers in the on-going Madhya Pradesh Assembly poll as to how to handle the electronic voting machines and how to be watchful as agents of party candidates in the counting halls.

His expulsion needlessly attracted attention to the fact that the Congress has reason to be worried about what Michel might disclose to the police during his interrogation. On Wednesday, a Delhi court remanded Michel to the police custody for five days, rejecting the bail plea moved by Joseph on behalf of his client. Reports said Joseph was approached by someone in Italy to represent Michel.

Though there can be no guarantee that Michel, the middleman who allegedly paid bribes to the tune of Rs 300 crores to Indian bureaucrats, politicians and air force personnel, then Air Force Chief S P Tyagi is one of the main accused, would name names, his extradition to India from Dubai has given the BJP leadership ammunition to attack the top Congress leadership. Whether or not anything concrete emerges from the criminal investigation and trial in the Agusta Westland bribery case, there is no denying that all through the Congress regime huge bribes were taken in various defence deals.


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