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Amit Shah targets Sonia in chopper scam

 AHMEDABAD/NEW DELHI, April 29 - The BJP and Congress today launched a privilege war in Parliament as Amit Shah attacked Sonia Gandhi again asking her to explain a “number of relaxations” given to tainted chopper manufacturer AgustaWestland that he said “compromised” the nation’s interests.

Targeting Gandhi, he raised questions telling Congress that instead of adopting an attitude of “thief scolding the cop”, they should feel “ashamed” and “come clean”.

Following up on his demand yesterday that Gandhi should name the bribe takers in the Rs 3,600-crore deal, Shah demanded that Gandhi should answer the questions to the people of the nation regarding the deal.

The Congress hit back and dared the government to come out with the truth in the deal in the next two months, instead of issuing threats and launching a “malicious” campaign.

“If the government has the guts, it should come out with the truth in the matter in the next two months when the Monsoon session of Parliament will commence,” Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.

Subramanian Swamy, who has needled Congress on the issue for the past two days, tabled a breach of privilege notice in the Rajya Sabha against Azad for his statement that the then UPA government had blacklisted Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland.

The Congress countered it by giving a similar notice against the Defence Ministry for making a statement on the deal outside the House when Parliament is in session.

Shah told the media in Ahmedabad that “there was a provision in the tender that the it can be filed by original equipment manufacturers only, but you allowed AgustaWestland International Limited to fill the tender in spite of the fact that the company in its 2012 report had made it public that it was not original equipment manufacturer.

He asked Gandhi on whose instruction this permission was given to it (company), why they were declared technically qualified and on whose instructions the conditions of the tender were breached.

“As per tender specifications, there was a condition of taking field evaluation trials in India, but it was changed overnight and the company was allowed to give field trials in their own company premises,” Shah said raising another question. – PTI

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