AugustaWestland chopper deal: It's political conspiracy to cover up criminal negligence in pursuing CBI inquiry, says AK Antony

Hitting back at the BJP over controversial Rs 3,600 VVIP AugustaWestland chopper deal, Congress leader and former defence minister AK Antony said on Wednesday that it was political conspiracy.

Last Updated: Apr 27, 2016, 19:04 PM IST

Delhi: Hitting back at the BJP over controversial Rs 3,600 VVIP AugustaWestland chopper deal, Congress leader and former defence minister AK Antony said on Wednesday that it was political conspiracy.

"It is a political conspiracy to cover up their (NDA) criminal negligence in pursuing CBI inquiry initiated by UPA government," Antony said.

"NDA government was sleeping for the last two years, they did nothing," he added.

Executing its plan, the BJP today sought to drag Congress president Sonia Gandhi into the chopper deal with its newly-nominated MP Subramanian Swamy taking her name that caused a huge ruckus in the Rajya Sabha as Congress members stormed the well of the House and paralysed it for an hour.

Hitting back, Gandhi rejected the allegations against her and party leaders as "false and baseless" and calling them as an attempt at "character assassination".  

She asserted she was "not afraid" of being "cornered" on  the issue, as per PTI.

Talking to media in Parliament House, Gandhi asked the government what has it been doing in  power for the last two years and demanded that the ongoing inquiry be completed impartially so that the truth comes out.

The controversial deal and the alleged bribes to the tune of Rs 360 crore paid in clinching it rocked the Rajya Sabha against the backdrop of an Italian court citing handwritten references to Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Air Chief SP Tyagi by a middleman in a judgement that convicted the helicopter company's chief executive.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar joined the row asking the Congress to show the order of the UPA government blackmailing AugustaWestland, a stance the party has taken ever since the controversy broke out.

Today's drama began with Swamy, bete noire of the Gandhi family who took oath as a nominated member only yesterday, began his new innings raking up the chopper deal and sought to drag Gandhi's name during the Zero Hour soon after the House met for the day.

(With PTI inputs)