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Jaitley questions Rahul's silence on AgustaWestland case

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for keeping silent over the charge sheet in AgustaWestland deal case.

At a press conference here, Jaitley said, "Rahul Gandhi talks on several subjects. He makes wild and unsubstantiated allegations against all and sundry. Now, who are 'RG', 'AP' and 'FAM' mentioned in the chargesheet in the AgustaWestland case."

Commenting on the diary recovered by Enforcement Directorate (ED) from the accused in the deal, Sushen Mohan Gupta, who is under arrest now, Jaitly said, "There is an erroneous belief among Indian politicians that a diary is never admissible as evidence. A diary constitutes an admission in writing and is admissible against the maker of that admission. It is admissible against the other co-conspirators as well.

"Are 'RG', 'AP' and 'FAM' fictional characters or were they in a position to influence the deal?", questioned Jaitley.

Hitting out at the Congress President, Jaitley said, "How come every time there is a controversial defence deal and evidence is collected, names close to the Congress Party's first family start appearing?"

Slamming Rahul Gandhi for his silence over the deal, Jaitley said, "The Right to Silence is available to an accused, not to a Prime Ministerial aspirant."

Citing the example of Bofors case, Jaitley said, "Alphabet 'Q' appeared in Martin Ardbo's diary in the Bofors Case, with a comment that 'Q' must be protected at all cost, the Congress party was in denial even then."

"It is only when the Swiss authorities in 1993 disclosed the names of one of the beneficiaries of the kickbacks of Bofors being paid as Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Narasimha Rao Government facilitated his escape from India in less than 24 hours. This did not wash away the ghost of 'Q' which had scarred the face of the Congress Party nor will 'RG', 'AP' and 'FAM'," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 05 2019. 19:58 IST
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