New Delhi: Attacking Modi government, Congress on Wednesday alleged that it was a political conspiracy to malign the party leadership in the AgustaWestland chopper deal for which Subramanian Swamy has been brought to Rajya Sabha to fulfill the Prime Minister's "muck raking agenda".
"These are baseless allegations. It is a political conspiracy to malign Congress leadership and cover-up NDA's criminal negligence," former Defence Minister A K Antony said at the AICC briefing where party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala and spokesman P L Punia too joined him in taking on the ruling BJP.
Assuring cooperation of the party in the probe, Antony alleged that the NDA govt "went to sleep" in the last two years "doing nothing".
When asked about the names of Sonia Gandhi and some other Congress leaders being mentioned in the court verdict, Antony claimed, "No witnesses mentioned these names in hearing in the Italian Court".
He said that the UPA government not only pursued the matter in the Italian courts, but also saw to it that an officer of the Defence Ministry and the CBI was present during the hearings in the courts there.
Targeting BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, Surjewala alleged that the Prime Minister was "using" him.
"Swamy's job as an MP is for this purpose. There is ... not a whisper about culpability of Congress leadership. It is just a figment of imagination of (the one who has been nominated). Modi wants to use him for his muck raking agenda", Surjewala said.
In a joint statement, Antony and the two other leaders said, "Prime Minister and BJP government are seeking to weave a web of lies, perpetuate falsehoods and construct a mesh of deception to hoodwink the people of India in the AgustaWestland helicopter purchase and its parent company Finmeccanica."
"Modi government is indulging in this cover up conspiracy to hide its sinister role in helping and promoting a banned company AgustaWestland and its parent company, Finmecanica.
"What is most intriguing part of the conspiracy is the undisclosed reason on part of Modi government for permitting a blacklisted company... to get clearances from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and permit its entry as partner or sub-contractor to various Indian corporates," they alleged, while posing a number of questions to Modi.