Mahohar Parrikar to place facts on AgustaWestland Chopper deal in Parliament on May 4

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a major bill that provides a window to legalise black money post-demonetisation

New Delhi: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has said that he will place all facts along with the detailed chronology about the AgustaWestland chopper deal before Parliament on May 4.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in Panaji on Sunday, Parrikar said, “I will place the detailed chronology, giving facts about the chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. I will place the detailed chronology, giving how and when necessary clauses or provisions were relaxed to suit the company.”

The Defence Minister said “Those who received kickbacks will not leave behind the proof for us to prosecute them, but we will have to prove it (that kickbacks were received).”

He said, “It is for us to prove everything now. Since the issue would be placed in Parliament, I would not like to speak in detail to media.”

The defence minister questioned, “Why no action was taken against the company till 2014? Why was the company not blacklisted by then UPA government?”, addding “I challenge the Congress to show the UPA government’s order blacklisting the AgustaWestland company. Let them reply first why it was not banned. It was during our (NDA) government that we banned it.”

Parrikar had recently challenged the Congress to show the order by the UPA government confirming the blacklisting.
AgustaWestland was not blacklisted during the UPA rule, top Modi government sources had recently claimed, asserting it was the NDA dispensation which had put on hold all acquisition proposals with the VVIP chopper scam-tainted firm.

The deal for the choppers went off track in 2013 when Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, which owns AgustaWestland, for paying bribes to secure the deal.
An Italian court, which convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi, had reportedly described how the firm paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs 3,600 crore deal.

Meanwhile, Union minister Jitendra Singh hit out at former defence minister AK Antony for his remarks on chopper scam, claiming that he was speaking from the mindset of ten years of UPA rule when “they were dictating the CBI” even as he asserted that the Narendra Modi government does not interfere in the functioning of the probe agency.

“I think he (AK Antony) has answered the question. He is speaking from the mindset of ten years of UPA rule when they were dictating the CBI what to do. I think somebody should remind them,” Singh told reporters in Jammu on Sunday.

(With Agency Inputs)


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