New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday renewed attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the AgustaWestland VIP chopper deal, asking on whose behest the terms of the contract were tweaked.
Posing questions to Ms. Gandhi before the media, he said reports of bribery in the deal appeared in the Italian media soon after the it was finalised but the then UPA government went ahead with it instead of invoking a tender clause, which enabled it to be put on hold.
The deal was “put on hold” only in 2013 after corruption was “proved”, he said adding the Congress chief should answer who was behind the delay.
“I want to ask the Congress President as to who was behind the change? Who ensured that the company was found technically qualified? Who was behind the changes in the tender conditions?” he asked at a press conference.
Raising another question, he said when the deal was done, one of the conditions was that the field evaluation trial of the choppers would be carried out in India but it was later changed and the firm was allowed to do so in its premises.
“Conditions were changed abruptly. Did it not play with India’s interests? Did it not compromise the seriousness of trial? Did the then Defence Minister give the permission? On whose behest did it happen? Sonia Gandhi should answer it too,” he said.
He also refuted the claim of Congress that all the money given by AgustaWestland under the ban guarantee has returned to India and said only a part of it has been en-cashed.
“Congress chief should herself answer these questions be appearing before people, by appearing before the media,” he said.
The Congress should come out of the mindset of “thief scolding a cop”.
Shah demanded that Sonia Gandhi should come clear on the issue and give a statement in the media on this.