New Delhi: Describing the Italian chopper deal as one having the "makings of a second Bofors scam", BJP on Wednesday sought to know why the government has not taken any action on the matter till now and said it will raise the issue strongly during the Budget Session of Parliament.
The main opposition also demanded that the helicopter deal should be reviewed and the supply of the remaining nine choppers should be stopped till all doubts are cleared.
"This deal raises a serious question. There was one gentleman Ottavio Quattrochhi from Italy who was involved in the Bofors scam. Several attempts were made to protect him. This helicopter company is also from Italy. Was this a factor in no probe being done in the matter for the past one year?" BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Though BJP did not spell out its strategy on the issue, Prasad said the party will raise this matter strongly inside and outside Parliament.
"I see the making of a second Bofors in this scam. The government has not been able to explain why it was silent for one year on this issue despite the details being available in the public domain," Prasad said.
He came down heavily on Defence Minister AK Antony, saying he should have called the Italian Ambassador to discuss the reports of financial irregularities in the Augusta Westland VVIP chopper deal. "Why did Antony not write to the Italian Defence Minister or send a delegation to Italy to get more details?" Prasad said.
BJP demanded that the Rs 3,500 Crore deal be reviewed and the supply of the remaining nine of the 12 choppers be stopped till the issue is probed thoroughly.