AgustaWestland a part of BJP’s strategy of ‘character assassination’, says Sonia

New Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that the BJP led NDA government was indulging in the politics of character assassination and blatant lies over the AgustaWestland chopper deal, while refuting allegations being levelled against her.
“These things are just falsehood. Where are the proofs, they are lies, they are part of the strategy of character assassination for which we have known these people indulging in,” Sonia told ANI.

“These people have been in the government for two years and the enquiry is on, why they don’t complete it quickly as soon as possible, an impartial inquiry and everything will come out, the truth will come out,” she added.

The Congress Party earlier today dared the Centre to have a discussion on the chopper deal.

Talking to the media after a meeting chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her official 10, Janpath residence here, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge expressed his disappointment over a report published in a leading English daily with regard to the VVIP helicopter deal.

“We will move an adjournment notice for discussion. There is a report published in a newspaper…We are ready to discuss the Augusta Westland issue in the Parliament,” Kharge said.

The meeting, which was attended by several Congress leaders including Anand Sharma, Randeep Surjewala and Jyotiraditya Scindia, comes in wake of a report published in The Hindu wherein James Christian Michel, the accused middleman in the chopper deal, has offered himself up for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Michel told The Hindu from Dubai yesterday that he was willing to answer all questions from the Indian investigators in order ‘to clear’ his name, but insisted he had never met the Congress president or a ‘single Gandhi’ in his life.

Agusta Westland’s Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force was scrapped by the UPA government over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents. In January 2013, India cancelled the deal and the CBI was assigned to investigate the matter. (ANI)