VVIP chopper deal cancelled to save first family from embarrassment: BJP

BJP said that the decision to cancel VVIP chopper deal was taken to save the first family from embarrassment.

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: Even as India on Wednesday cancelled the Rs 3,600 crore deal with AgustaWestland for supply of 12 VVIP choppers to the Air Force, the BJP said that the decision was taken to save the first family from embarrassment.

The move to cancel the deal with the Anglo-Italian firm was taken in view of charges that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 360 crore were paid for it.

BJP leader Prakash Javadekar wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter - “VVIP chopper deal is cancelled to save embarrassment to the first family. Deal is cancelled but what about corruption?”

In another post he wrote - “What penalty will be paid for the cancellation? What will be the price of helicopters already delivered? What about the defence requirements?”

The deal to supply 12 AW-101 helicopters for VVIPs which was arrived at in 2010, has been under the scanner after it was reported that two top officials of the company had allegedly paid bribes to bag the contract. Former IAF chief SP Tyagi is an accused in the case and is being probed by the CBI.

Three helicopters have already been delivered by AgustaWestland. Also, India has made 30 percent payment. As per reports, India has decided to go in for arbitration with the Anglo-Italian firm.

The government had frozen the contract in February last and two top officials of the company were arrested in Italy in the matter.