New Delhi: The BJP attacked Defence Minister AK Antony on the VVIP chopper deal, saying he was “guilty” too as the deal came about during his tenure, and said it will raise the issue during the coming budget session.
“Antony has given several orders to inquire into the monumental chopper scam. He is struggling to keep his Mr Clean image on the forefront by desperately ordering inquiry and notice to cancel it,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.
“He has been the defence minister since October 2006 and is guilty of what happened under him as minister,” he said.
Rudy said BJP will raise the matter in the budget session of parliament starting Feb 21.
The BJP has compared the $750 million scandal to the Bofors gun scam. The opposition has also demanded that the matter be fully probed by either a special team or under the monitoring of the Supreme Court.
A controversy has risen following alleged corruption in the February 2010 deal to acquire 12 AW101 helicopters from Finmeccanica‘s subsidiary AgustaWestland for the Indian Air Force’s elite Communication Squadron, which ferries the president, prime minister and other VVIPs.
The defence ministry Friday initiated action for cancellation of the contract. It also issued a formal show-cause notice to the Britain-based subsidiary of Finmeccanica to explain within a week why the contract should not be cancelled.
The matter came to light when Italian agencies arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi for alleged corruption to seal the deal last week.