VVIP chopper scam: Rahul Gandhi's aide was connected to middleman Guido Haschke, says BJP leader

The CBI on Monday questioned former IAF chief SP Tyagi over alleged corruption in the VVIP chopper deal.

VVIP chopper scam: Rahul Gandhi's aide was connected to middleman Guido Haschke, says BJP leader

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya on Tuesday dragged in Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, alleging that Gandhi scion's close aide Kanishka Singh was connected to Guido Haschke, a middleman in the alleged chopper deal.

Training his guns on the Congress vice president, the BJP MP alleged that Haschke was involved in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam, in which Emaar-MGF was a party. He accused Rahul's aide of having connections with the real estate developer.

Somaiya said it cannot be a co-incident that Guido Haschke, an alleged middleman in the chopper deal, is common in both the scams and that he is linked with Christian Michel, an accused in the VVIP chopper scam.

Meanwhile, responding to Somiaya's charges, Kanishka Singh said allegations against him are baseless with ulterior political motive.

The CBI on Monday questioned former IAF chief SP Tyagi over alleged corruption in the VVIP chopper deal.

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.

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.

The Milan court has also given details of how alleged bribes were paid by AgustaWestland's parent company Finmeccanica as well as AgustaWestland to Indian officials through middlemen to clinch the deal.

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.

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