Political slugfest on AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal payoffs is showing no signs of losing intensity with both the BJP and the Congress producing documents and throwing barbs to put each other in the dock.BJP seems to have found a Bofors in AgustaWestland payoffs to discredit the Congress. Aware of BJP’s strategy, the Congress also has acquired no holds barred position.After BJP president Amit Shah’s sought answers to three questions from Sonia Gandhi and government issued a late on Friday night clarification on AgustaWestland hitting indirectly at Congress for not admitting corruption and instead boldly proclaiming, ‘catch us if you can’, the Congress came out all guns blazing against the BJP on Saturday signalling that it is ready for a long drawn battle.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing Amit Shah and BJP leaders of pursuing politics of deceit and deliberate lies, Congress counter attacked– “Can ‘smear campaign’ and ‘hatchet jobs’ of ‘BJP’s dirty tricks department’ defend the ‘Operation Cover-up’ of BJP government in helping AgustaWestland?”Congress spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala dared Amit Shah to seek answers to some questions from Modi government after calling AgustaWestland and its parent company, Finmecannica a ‘bogus company’.”Why the same ‘fraud company’ was part of PM’s ‘Make-in-India’ programme and participated in ‘Aero India Exhibition’? Why it was being given permission by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on October 8 last year? And why it was given permission to participate in defence contract as a ‘sub-contractor’ as also ‘supplier to a contracting party’ with Government of India by order dated August 22, 2014 of defence ministry?” said Surjewala, backing his claims with documentary proof.Congress also described Amit Shah’s allegation of Congress government not encashing the bank guarantee of the defaulting company, AgustaWestland as a bundle of lies aimed at creating a smoke screen and befool the people of India.Producing documents, it asked Modi government to answer whether it is not correct that the then Congress government filed and won the court case leading to encashment of bank guarantees worth Euro 2,28,00,00,00 (228 million) in the court at Milan, Italy on May 232014.It also asked Shah to come clean on whether Indian government has recovered an amount of Rs.2, 068 crore from Augusta Westland as against payment of Rs1,620 crore besides confiscating three helicopters?To Shah’s insinuation regarding permitting testing of helicopters on ‘foreign soil’, Surjewala asked, “Will he ask PM Modi and defence minister Parrikar that is it not true that ‘Defence Procurement Procedure 2016’ provides that process of trial can be carried out abroad i.e. on foreign soil, including in the premises of vendor owing to export restrictions, security related issues, availability of testing infrastructure/platforms or other reasons?”Within hours, BJP fired again ratcheting up the oft repeated charge of extending relaxations to AgustaWestland for field trials of VVIP choppers.Alleging that none other than Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel were the architects of scam, BJP spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao said”The then defence minister A K Antony had questioned the proposal to have the field trial abroad. This is what the CAG report also cites. Antony had recorded on the file that this cannot be allowed. The Defence Minister wanted RFP (request for proposals) conditions to be imposed. Who in the UPA government or who in the Congress other than Sonia Gandhi and her adviser Ahmad Patel had the authority to override Antony, his objections…Who could silence him was Sonia Gandhi,” said Rao.


BJP-Congress slugfest intensifies on VVIP chopper payoffs