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Tatra deal: BJP seeks explanation from PM

Targeting Defence Minister AK Antony for inaction in the Tatra truck deal even when alerted through a letter in May 2008, the BJP wondered if the minister was under pressure at that time.



New Delhi: Targeting Defence Minister AK
Antony for inaction in the Tatra truck deal even when
alerted through a letter in May 2008, the BJP on Monday wondered
if the minister was "under pressure" at that time and sought
an explanation from the Prime Minister.

"What prompted Antony to become inactive on this issue?
Who`s pressure was it? At whose behest these sudden changes in
procurement criteria were made. Government owes an
explanation. Prime Minister owes and explanation," BJP
spokesman Prakash Javadekar told reporters here on Monday.

Bringing out a communication of May 12, 2008 seeking a
probe into the purchase of Tatra trucks by party MP from
Jabalpur Rakesh Singh, the BJP said Antony was "misleading"
the nation by stating that he acted promptly when the matter
was brought to his notice.

Javadekar said "they must come out.... Because,
independent inquiry is only possible if the government comes
out clearly and it is a court-monitored inquiry."

BJP MP from Jabalpur Rakesh Singh claimed that he had
written to the Defence Minister on May 12, 2008 with a request
for investigation of alleged favouritism in procurement of
high-mobility vehicles and Antony had replied to him on May
30, 2008, saying "I am having the matter looked into".

Though Singh also pointed out that even though indigenous
6X6 vehicles were manufactured and tested in Vehicle Factory
in Jabalpur, the same were not bought by the Defence Ministry
and the Tatra-BEML vehicles were purchased instead.

The BJP MP also said that even after Antony`s promise of
looking into the matter, when nothing happened on the issue,
he raised the matter in the Lok Sabha.

PTI

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