New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday alleged there is an "Italian connection" in the Rs 350 crore alleged pay-off to a middleman in the Agusta Westland helicopter deal and asked the government to clarify why it had not exercised caution in the matter.
With the Bofors pay-off issue hitting the headlines again, BJP sought to connect the issue with the helicopter deal pointing out that while Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi had been allegedly involved in Bofors case, an Italian businessman is involved in the chopper transaction.
"There is an Italian connection in the helicopter deal. A middleman was allegedly paid Rs 350 crore in the helicopter deal with Augusta Westland Company. The Italian police are investigating the role of the consultant and middleman involved in the deal," BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The opposition maintained when Indian laws clearly lay down that no middleman should be involved in a defence deal and doing so is a crime why this was permitted in this case.
Prasad said if the allegations are proved, the contract can be terminated.
"We would like to know what the Indian government is doing in the matter. Why was adequate caution not taken in the case?" Prasad said.