A day after Manohar Parrikar spoke of an ‘invisible hand’ in preventing an investigation in UPA tenure in VVIP Chopper scam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised defence minister over his speech in Rajya Sabha.The prime minister also also said that Parrikar’s speech displayed best parliamentary traditions.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Prime Minister said, “Yesterday’s speech by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in the Rajya Sabha was one of the best speeches, displaying best parliamentary traditions.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Parrikar rose above politics & placed all relevant facts on the table. Urging you all to hear his speech,” Modi tweeted.
ALSO READ VVIP chopper scam: Arun Jaitley claims he blacklisted AgustaWestland, not UPAThe controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal had triggered a stormy debate and trading of charges in the Rajya Sabha.
ALSO READ VVIP chopper scam: Govt rejects demand for a Supreme Court monitored probe in AgustaWestland payoffsAmid repeated disruptions the sequence of events related to the deal, the Defence Minister said CBI had registered a case on March 12, 2013 but it did not bother to forward a copy of the FIR to ED for nine months. Later, ED did not act on the FIR till July 2014, he said.”It appears an invisible hand was guiding action or inaction of CBI and ED,” the minister said.
ALSO READ VVIP chopper scam: Congress-led govt shared only 3 documents for Agusta trial, says Italian judgeHowever while contending that he had immediately taken action after allegations of corruption surfaced in 2012, former Defence Minister AK Antony said, “Act now… Take strong action but don’t threaten, don’t blackmail.”On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF) over allegations of kickbacks by it for securing the deal.The then UPA government had also barred Finmeccanica and its group companies from participating in any new programme of the defence ministry.An Italian court, which convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi, had reportedly described how the firm paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs.3,600 crore deal.