BJP denies Sonia’s character assassination charge in chopper deal

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) Denying Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s charge of character assassination in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, the BJP said it did not indulge in any vendetta against her.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said she should rather clarify the issue with an Italian court that mentioned her name along with others from the then United Progressive Alliance government in the chopper deal.

“The government is all for a probe in the matter. It’s a genuine request by her, but she should clarify it with the Italian court that has come out with her name,” union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy told the media at Parliament House here.

“She thinks we hold (political) vendetta against her, but why will the court have any vendetta against her?” he asked, adding that she herself should find it out.

The minister said that since notices have been given in the Lok Sabha on the issue, there will soon be a discussion on the issue in the house.

Rudy also dismissed as untrue the Congress charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his Italian counterpart in September last year.

“It’s a false statement (by the Congress),” he said.

Asked why did the National Democratic Alliance government take off AgustaWestland’s name from the blacklist, the minister said the company has been suspended and still cannot work on any government project.

Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party over allegations against her regarding the chopper deal.

“We have nothing to hide. Let them (government) take my name; I am not afraid of anyone because there is no basis to that allegation. …This is part of their (BJP’s) strategy of character assassination,” Gandhi told the media here.

Gandhi said she was “not afraid” of any inquiry and there was nothing to hide.

The BJP on Tuesday targeted the Congress chief, claiming her name cropped up four times in an Italian court’s judgment that observed that bribes were indeed paid to Indian authorities to secure the $530 million contract.

Denying the allegation, the Congress had threatened legal action for defamation.

–IANS

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