BJP dares Congress to come clean on AgustaWestland deal

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New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday dared the Congress to come clean on the VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland deal after an Italian court observed that it was “proven” that illegal money had made their way to Indian officials.

“Now that bribe-givers have been convicted, what should happen to the bribe-takers? Will Mr. (former defence minister A.K.) Antony publicly give a statement on this? Will he accept that his partymen are involved in the scam?” he said.

Senior Congress leader Antony was defence minister when the VVIP helicopter deal with Italy-based firm AgustaWestland was being finalised and sealed in February 2010 during the United Progressive Alliance government.

In a 225-page judgment, a judge at the Milan Court of Appeals found that bribe was paid by the firm to Indian officials to get the $530 million contract for the supply of 12 AW101 choppers.

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The Indian government, however, cancelled the deal in 2013 when a controversy over the deal emerged with the arrest of Agusta’s parent organisation Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi by Italian authorities.



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