NEW DELHI: BJP scaled up its attack on the Congress with party chief Amit Shah posing questions to his rivals on the way AgustaWestland deal was handled.
For second day in row, Shah trained his guns on Sonia Gandhi-led Congress as more muck seems to be unearthed day by day. Referring to Congress’ counter charge, Shah said it was a case of ulta chor kotwal ko daante (pot calling the kettle black). They should be ashamed, Shah said.
Congress retorted by asking the government to finish its probe before levelling any accusations. "If government has the guts, it should come out with truth in the matter in the next two months,” ", Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
In four questions posed to Gandhi, Shah asked her to reply to clear the air.
BJP chief asked as on whose direction, AugustaWestland was allowed to tender for purchase, despite not being original equipment manufacturer. "I want to ask the Congress President as to who was behind the change? Who ensured that the company was found technically qualified? Who was behind the changes in the tender conditions?" he asked at a press conference in Ahmedabad.
Raising another question, Shah said when the deal was done, conditions of field evaluation trial were changed. "Conditions were changed abruptly. Did the then Defence Minister give the permission? On whose behest did it happen? Sonia Gandhi should answer it too," he said.
Amit Shah questioned as to why the deal was not put on hold despite allegations of corruption coming out in the media. On whose behest this was done. “The deal went on despite allegations of bribes surfacing in Italy. It was only after accused were arrested and bribery was proved that deal was put on hold. Why this delay? ”
He also refuted the claim of Congress that all the money given by AgustaWestland under the ban guarantee has returned to India and said only a part of it has been encashed.
"Congress chief should herself answer these questions be appearing before people, by appearing before the media," he said.
On Thursday also, Shah attacked Gandhi and asked to name the bribe takers in the Rs.3,600 core chopper deal but Congress hit back saying his demand was a "no confidence vote" in the Modi government which has "failed" in its job of investigating it properly in last two years.
It was not only Shah, other senior ministers led the charge against Sonia Gandhi.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said the latest revelations in the AgustaWestland chopper deal has become uncomfortable for the Congress Party as questions are now being raised on its leadership.
"I think the scam is becoming uncomfortable for the Congress with regard to questions raised about its leadership...Obviously, those recognised as bribe takers in Italian Courts will try to conceal facts in Indian domain to escape the law," Irani said.
Meanwhile, Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the latest disclosures in this case points out that the UPA regime attempted to stall the CBI probe in the chopper deal.