Government, opposition trade barbs on Agusta scam
New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The government and the opposition parties on Monday blamed each other for disrupting the functioning of the ongoing parliament session by politicising and raking up the AgustaWestland chopper scam issue.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government wants to bring out the facts related to the issue so that people must get to know the truth.
“This issue should not be politicised. Facts must be brought to the fore and people must get to know the truth. Government is ready, we need not hide anything nor we are hiding any fact. We are talking about it openly,” Naidu said talking to reporters outside Parliament House.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, who is member of the Rajya Sabha, said the government must discuss the issue on the floor of the house so that everyone get to know the details of it.
“Our party believes that BJP, Congress and TMC people are obstructing the functioning of the house on this chopper scam. The government must take the issue seriously and it must be discussed on the floor of the house. The government should see the house functions properly,” Mayawati said talking to reporters here.
On the other side, the Congress has accused the BJP of using the issue to defame it so that the BJP may take an advantage of it in the ongoing assembly polls in four states.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said it was his party which had ordered a CBI inquiry into the issue to bring out the truth.
“Had we been scared, we would not have issued a CBI inquiry. Because we had involved the CBI in the investigation, this shows our government was serious to bring out the facts,” Kharge said talking to reporters outside parliament.
“But what this government is doing is politically motivated. They do not want to catch the real culprits. They just want to use this issue to defame the Congress and take an advantage in the ongoing state polls,” he added.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader K.C. Tyagi said his party wants the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the investigation so that judicial proceedings do not get hampered.
“We want the investigation to complete. Both CBI and ED (Enforcement Directorate) are involved in the investigation of this issue. But BJP is populating and propagating the results before the investigation gets completed. They have made it a political issue which may also obstruct the judicial proceedings,” he said.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has already said he will speak on the AgustaWestland chopper deal in parliament on Wednesday, and give a detailed chronology of the events.
He has said the Congress needs to answer on its inaction on the CBI probe in the deal which involved bribes given in India.
The issue has become major political affair in the country after a court in Milan, Italy, jailed AgustaWestland’s former head Bruno Spagnolini on the charges of false accounting and corruption in the sale of the firm’s 12 VVIP choppers to India.
Some documents submitted to the court contain the names of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her political adviser Ahmad Patel and former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi.