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Cong 'defending' Christian Michel, alleges BJP


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The BJP Sunday accused the Congress of "defending" Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper scam, and asked why it was "scared" of investigation into the case.
The ruling party also condemned the Congress for allegedly giving a political colour to the issue and asked why the name of a Gandhi family member cropped up whenever a foreigner was caught for corruption.
BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi alleged that the Congress was "jittery" since Michel's extradition and its fears were evident as it sought to provide cover to him in court.
"Ever since Michael was brought back to India, the Congress expectedly is nervous and jittery and that is coming to the fore, as was evident at its press conference today," Trivedi told reporters.
Asking why the Congress was "scared" of investigation, he said the opposition party should allow the law to take its due course and the truth about corruption in the case would should come out.
"I want to ask a pertinent question, whenever in the last 30-32 years the names of any foreign national cropped up in corruption cases in India, be it Anderson, Ottavio Quattrochi, Guido Haschke or Christian Michel, why were all of them found to be linked with the Gandhi family....why are they linked to a member of the Gandhi family," he asked.
Trivedi said the question is whether there was corruption in the AugustaWestland case and said that the CBI probe was ordered by the UPA government itself.
The BJP leader said the issue of the corruption was raised in the Italian government and also in the courts there.
"This issue was not a political one. There was corruption in the purchase of the helicopters which is linked to national security," he claimed.
"Why are you scared of investigation... Those who have been demanding probe into financial scams are holding press conferences to Michel's defence, in a way.
"We condemn the Congress for giving a political colour to the investigation process and ask them to let there be a fair probe into the matter," he said.
Asked about the Congress' charge of the Modi government ending AgustaWestland's blacklisting and allowing them to bid for Navy choppers, the BJP spokesperson said no questions were raised on the quality of the aircraft manufactured by these companies, but on the corruption in the deals.
Trivedi also cited the example of Bofors guns, saying they were found to be of good quality and "that does not mean that the entire corruption in their purchase can be ignored".

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First Published: Dec 30 2018 | 7:11 PM IST

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