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AugustaWestland Chopper Deal: Govt says takers must be identified, Sonia hits back
Wednesday April 27, 2016 7:52 PM, Agencies

New Delhi:
Implicating Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress leaders, the government on Wednesday said that the 'identity of the bribe takers' in the AgustaWestland chopper scam must be established. Congress president Sonia Gandhi hit back saying 'all accusations are false'.

In Parliament, the BJP asked for a discussion on the Agusta scam in both houses.

To prove it has nothing to hide, the Congress also sought a discussion about the contract for 12 helicopters ordered in 2010 for the use of VVIPs and cancelled in 2014.

An Italian court has convicted two executives of AgustaWestlands parent company for offering bribes to land the India deal.

The identity of the bribe-givers has been the identity of the bribe-takers has to be revealed, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha.

The BJP has decided to target Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Parliament after documents placed in the Italian court referred to her as the driving force in the decision to acquire the helicopters for Rs. 3,600 crore.

Reacting to it, Sonia Gandhi said, all the accusations they are throwing at us are false.

The documents also refer to Dr Manmohan Singh, who was then Prime Minister

The Congress says that once talk of kickbacks erupted in Italy, it cancelled the Agusta helicopter deal, blacklisted the company and asked the CBI to investigate the scam.

Building up a counter attack against the BJP, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who decided, after coming to power, that AgustaWestland is eligible to bid for new defence contracts.

The BJPs Subramanian Swamy, has moved a notice for discussion in the upper house while the partys Meenakshi Lekhi has moved a similar notice in the Lok Sabha.

In the Rajya Sabha, Swamy even named Sonia Gandhi, which was, however, expunged from the records.

At an emergency Congress meeting at Sonia Gandhis residenceon Wednesdaymorning were the partys top speakers in Parliament like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Anand Sharma.

The Italian company claim that then Air Force chief SP Tyagi received kickbacks for the contract. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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