There is no vendetta: Rudy on Sonia’s charge

Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy today (April 27) said the government will fulfil the Congress chief’s demand for a thorough probe into the AgustaWestland chopper scam. He also said modalities will be decided once Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar makes a statement in the Parliament on the issue. Rudy rejected Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s charge that allegations against her and other Congress leaders are part of vendetta. The VVIP chopper deal relates to a 2010 decision of the UPA government to buy 12 helicopters from Italian manufacturer, Finmeccanica. Reports said the Italian company had paid bribe to swing the Rs 3,565 crore deal. Reports from Italy based on a court judgement citing notes from middlemen that around Rs 120 crore were paid to some political leaders in the deal. Media reports say an Italian court has convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi as the firm paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs.3,600 crore deal. BJP and Congress are headed for an escalating confrontation over allegations of bribery in the Rs.3,6000 crore VVIP helicopter deal during the UPA regime. Seeking to corner Congress over allegations of corruption in the Agusta Westland deal, BJP sought an explanation from Congress, while the opposition party hit back, asking why the Modi government had cancelled the process of blacklisting the firm in question. Congress President Sonia Gandhi today rejected as “baseless” allegations linking her and party leaders to bribes in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, calling them an attempt at character assassination. Dismissing allegations, A K Antony, the defence minister in the UPA government, asked the Modi government to fast track the probe into the chopper scam and find out the truth as the UPA government had cancelled the contract and ordered a CBI investigation into it.
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