BJP demands Supreme Court's intervention in Chopper deal probe

The BJP had earlier demanded an explanation from the government on the delay in initiating a probe into the deal.

PUNE: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded the probe into the 4,000-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal to be under the supervision of the Supreme Court, alleging a cover-up otherwise.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar was quoted by NDTV as saying, "The probe will be completed in a time-bound manner and will show results only if it is monitored by the Supreme Court. Else there will be a cover-up."

Comparing the controversial AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal with the Bofors scam of the 1990s, the BJP earlier on Wednesday had demanded an explanation from the government on the delay in initiating a probe into the deal.

"I see a second Bofors in the making. Why was there silence and inaction for one year, when there was proper evidence? (Defence Minister) A.K. Antony had better explain how delivery of the helicopters was allowed when there was evidence that commission was paid, which is illegal," BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad told the media.

UPA's defence

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday defended the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized it over the Augusta Westland deal, and questioned it for not showing interest in ordering an inquiry into the matter, saying what is lawfully required and lawfully justified is what will be done, what has been done and will continue to be done.

"There is no such thing. It's pro-active. There is such a thing as lawful. Whatever has to be done by law has to be done. I don't think that we should do anything that is done to please the opposition or because somebody puts pressure on us. What is lawfully required and lawfully justified is what will be done, what has been done and will continue to be done," he added.

Khurshid said 'if someone is probing it, then you let them probe'

"I mean should you have your own probe when someone else is probing who is probably better placed to probe because that's where the production takes place, that's where the offices are. And we have obviously remained in touch with them and expected that they would keep us posted and informed. So, at an appropriate stage when they give us the information that would be useful to use in this country, we will use it. What is the problem?" he asked.

While the Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for targetting the UPA Government, said this deal was initiated during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, and added that a CBI investigation has been ordered in this case.

Singh said the case of purchase of Westland helicopter should be seen in different light. (With inputs from Agencies)

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