Sonia driving force: Italian Court order puts Congress in a spot
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been named by Italian Court in Agusta Westland helicopter deal case. The court order cites a letter from the middle man of of the Agusta Westland to India head of the company saying that Sonia Gandhi is the driving force behind the VIP helicopters. BJP has decided to name Sonia Gandhi in Parliament putting Congress in the defensive
The Italian order says there is “reasonable belief” that corruption took place in India’s deal in 2010 with AgustaWestland for 12 choppers to be used by top leaders including the prime minister.
The order names former prime minister Manmohan Singh also. But it does not say any wrong doing by these leaders
Sonia’s name is mentioned in a letter wrote in March 2008 letter from the main middleman in the scandal, Christian Michel, to Peter Hulet, the India head of AgustaWestland, which describes “Mrs Gandhi” as “the driving force behind VIP helicopters”.
Manmohan Singh is mentioned in a 2013 letter from Guiseppe Orsi, an Agusta official who was in jail for corruption at the time. The letter says the Italian PM or a senior diplomat should call the former PM.
A letter between two middlemen refers to alleged bribes to be paid to Indian Air Force officers, bureaucrats and politicians.
The names are mentioned as AP and fam. This the investigators believe to be the close associates of Congress party and former Air Force chief SP Tyagi
After the court order has become news, the BJP discussed its strategy in a meeting attended by the prime minister Narendra Modi
Briefing party party MPs , Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reportedly said the case “had proved that the Congress is all about scams”
Congress’ top leadership including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were present in the Lok Sabha when the BJP raised the chopper deal.
The Congress said it has nothing to hide. “We ordered an inquiry and cancelled the contract. If the BJP government is so keen, they should expedite the CBI inquiry we ordered,” said former defence minister AK Antony.