Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday hit back at the Congress over the AugstaWestland VVIP chopper deal row, saying the UK-based subsidiary of Italian defence major Finmeccanica was never blacklisted.
Jaitley debunked the theory that AgustaWestland was blacklisted by the UPA government and the NDA government lifted it.
"This is a figment of somebody's imagination," Jaitley, a former defence minister, said here while launching the NDA's vision document ahead of the May 16 Kerala Assembly Elections.
Jaitley also targeted former defence minister AK Antony for saying that it was the UPA government which had blacklisted AugustaWestland-Finmeccanica after the bribe scandal came to light.
The senior NDA minister said the chopper deal was influenced by bribery.
"The buck stops with those who took the decision and the decision was influenced by bribery. The fact that there was bribery is unquestionably there. There is a transaction in which bribe giver is being convicted. We are only struggling to find out the identity of the bribe taker," he said.
"Obviously, the bribe taker has to be among those who influenced to ward the contract. Strangers don't get bribes. Those who influenced decision get bribes," Jaitley added.