Fireworks expected in Parliament; BJP fields Subramanian Swamy to attack Sonia Gandhi on AgustaWestland chopper deal
BJP has given notices in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha seeking discussion on the VVIP chopper deal.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to corner the Congress in the Parliament by targeting its party president Sonia Gandhi on the issue of bribes in the AgustaWestland chopper deal during the UPA regime.
Media reports claimed that an Italian court, which has convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi, has reportedly described how the firm paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs 3,600 crore deal.
The Parliament is sure to witness huge uproar over the issue, with BJP giving notices in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha seeking discussion on the chopper deal.
According to media reports, the Italian court judgement states how the firm lobbied with Sonia Gandhi and her close aides besides the then NSA MK Narayanan and the then prime minister Manmohan Singh. Gandhi was described as the "driving force" by the judge behind the deal.
According to reports, there were references in the Italian court judgement to middlemen talking about ‘Signora Gandhi’.
Subramanian Swamy, who took oath as the newly-nominated member of Rajya Sabha today and the bete noire of Congress' first family, will rake up the chopper deal issue in the Rajya Sabha for which notice has been given. Meenakshi Lekhi is expected to do the job in the Lok Sabha today.
The BJP on Tuesday targeted the Congress president in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, alleging that her name crops up four times in an Italian court judgement that observes bribes were indeed paid to Indian authorities to secure the USD 530 million contract. Denying the allegation, the Congress threatened legal action for defamation.
"The Milan Court of Appeals in its judgement has said that bribe was paid by AgustaWestland to Indian officials to get the contract for the supply of 12 AW101 choppers. The 225-page judgement on page 193 mentions Sonia Gandhi's name, apart from other places," said BJP spokesman Sambit Patra.