New Delhi: As the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal continues to haunt the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy has levelled serious charges against Sonia Gandhi saying, he believes that the Congress president received bribe in the Rs 3600 crore deal.
Commenting on the alleged VVIP chopper scam, Swamy said, “The bribe paid had not come to India, it has been deposited in foreign banks. According to me, Sonia Gandhi was given bribe and she deposited the money in Sarasin Bank in Geneva and Pictet bank in Zurich.”
Swamy made the comments while speaking to ABP news channel.
When asked on what basis he is making the allegations against the Congress president, the BJP leader said, “I have sources who have provided me the information.”
He also dismissed Congress' charge that BJP is unnecessarily raking up the VVIP chopper deal to divert attention from other issues.
The CBI on Monday questioned former IAF chief SP Tyagi over alleged corruption in the Rs.3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
Tyagi has been named in the FIR in the chopper deal along with 13 others including his brothers -- Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep -- and European middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
The allegation against the former IAF chief is that he had reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) so that AgustaWestland was included in the bids.
Tyagi maintains the decision was reportedly taken in consultation with officials of the Special Protection Group (SPG) and the Prime Minister's Office. Twelve helicopters were to be bought by India.
The CBI says the reduction of the service ceiling, which is the maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally, allowed the Britain-based firm to get into the fray. Otherwise its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.
The chopper deal resurfaced after an Italian court last month referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh among others in connection with the chopper deal but gave no details of any wrongdoing by the two leaders.
AgustaWestland's Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force was scrapped by the then UPA government over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents.