“Who received kickbacks?” Shah takes on Sonia, Cong

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi speaks to media at AICC office after appearing at Patiala House court in National Herald Case in New Delhi on Saturday, December 19, 2015. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi speaks to media at AICC. Photo – PTI

The wrangle between ruling BJP and the principal opposition party Congress over VVIP chopper deal controversy is only picking intensity. Day after the Parliament witnessed uproar over the issue, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday launched sharp attack on Congress party president Sonia Gandhi.

“All I want to ask her is that those who gave bribe are in jail in Italy, then where are those who received the kickbacks?” Shah said.

“Who were in power at that time? They are responsible and they should bring out the truth. It should be disclosed before the people of the country,” he said referring to the Congress-led UPA government under whose tenure the deal was cancelled owing to the allegations of kickbacks.

Taking dig at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Shah said scams under it were reported when it was in power and they continue to be reported even two years after it was voted out.

BJP has been targeting the principal opposition party since Tuesday evening following media reports that an Italian court, which convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi, reportedly said how the firm allegedly paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs. 3,600 crore deal.

And in a bid to turn the tables on the issue, Congress party took an aggressive posture, questioning Modi government instead.

“We blacklisted the AgustaWestland company… Why did Modi govt allowed this black listed company to take part in Make in India,” Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday adding the decision to blacklist the firm was taken after the then UPA government found out about the “wrongdoings” on the part of AgustaWestland.

Sonia Gandhi herself rejected allegations linking her and some senior party leaders to bribes in the deal.

“I am not afraid of anyone cornering me as there is no basis to that. All the accusations they are throwing at us are false,” she told the press pack in Parliament complex on Wednesday adding, “Where are the proofs? They are lying. They are part of a strategy of character assassination which we have known these people indulge in”.

“The government is there for the last 2 years. What are they doing? Inquiry is there, why don’t they complete it? Complete it as soon as possible, impartially,” she said adding,

(With inputs from the PTI)