Congress on Wednesday sought a discussion on the AgustaWestland helicopter deal in the Lok Sabha saying allegations have been levelled against its leadership.
As soon as the House took up the Question Hour, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said all newspapers have the news item regarding the VVIP helicopter deal and allegations have been levelled against party leaders.
“Names have appeared. We will have to think about it. We should discuss,” he said without naming AgustaWestland. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the issue can be raised after the Question Hour.
Congress has maintained that the UPA government had taken action once reports of wrongdoings and allegations of corrupt practices surfaced in 2013.
Besides cancelling the deal, the UPA had blacklisted AgustaWestland and confiscated the guarantee money. But the NDA government, the party said, has now removed the Italian company from the blacklist.
“Where are the proofs. They are lying. They are part of a strategy of character assassination which we have known these people indulge in,” Gandhi said.
Referring to the Modi government, Gandhi asked what has it been doing over the last two years.
“The government is there for the last 2 years. What are they doing? Inquiry is there, why don’t they complete it? Complete it as soon as possible, impartially,” she added.
Gandhi’s political secretary and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also rubbished the allegations against him and the party as “absolutely baseless.”
“This government, when they are saying all these things outside and inside the Parliament, why can’t they investigate,” Patel said.
“If there is something against me, they should find out and they should hang me,” he said when asked by reporters for his reactions over the allegations.
The comments of Sonia Gandhi and Patel come in the backdrop of BJP move to target the Congress President and other party leaders on the issue of bribes in the AugustaWestland chopper deal during the UPA regime in a bid to corner the main opposition party which has been paralysing Rajya Sabha on the Uttarakhand affair.
- This Govt is in power for 2 years now,why did they not complete the inquiry? : Sonia Gandhi
- Sonia Gandhi on AugustaWestland Issue: We have nothing to hide. Let them take my name, I am not afraid.
- Uproar in Rajya Sabha by Congress, house adjourned till 11:35 am.
- Reports that Prime Ministers of India and Italy met are completely false: FM Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha
- Would like to know whether a meeting took place between two PMs as cited in a newspaper,was a deal struck?:GN Azad in RS AgustaWestland
- There is no case, my party will respond: Former PM Manmohan Singh on AgustaWestland
- Congress’ Rajya Sabha strategy meet begins in Parliament
- We are ready for the debate in the Parliament over AgustaWestland issue: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge
- BJP leader Subramanian Swamy is set to raise the AgustaWestland row in the Upper House, while party MP Meenakshi Lekhi will raise the issue in the Lok Sabha
- Congress President Sonia Gandhi to hold meeting at 10 Janpath with top leaders.