It was almost a trial-by-combat scene in the hall of Rajya Sabha where BJP had given the swords to its trusted knights Parrikar and Swamy. Parrikar and Swamy led a relentless attack on a disarrayed Congress Party. The AgustaWestland helicopter deal was taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha today in all its glory and hidden skeletons kept falling from the closet all day. Parrikar and Swamy ended up shattering all myths and untruths around the scam that AgustaWestland is.
Like a final showdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a meeting of top ministers including Parrikar and Swamy before the session. The Congress party on Tuesday held a similar meeting with its senior leaders, ahead of the discussion in the upper house. They met again this morning to discuss their strategy of pinning Parrikar and Swamy on to the ground. But despite some spirited fightback from their allies, the Core Congress team was reduced to a bunch of squeaking mice who kept getting battered by Parrikar and Swamy with every passing minute.
Parrikar and Swamy – Round 1 – Swamy takes the Sword
Allegation Number 1: The international norm for cabin height was changed from 1.45m to 1.80m. NO other helicopter came under those specifications which eliminated the competition. AgustaWestland happens to be the only firm that made helicopters with those specifications. The ones responsible for it must be booked under the prevention of corruption act.
Allegation Number 2: Instead of conducting field tests on the Chopper that was going to be used, field tests were carried out on another Chopper in Italy, which amounts to fraud under Section 420 of the IPC.
Allegation Number 3: The original proposal was to buy eight helicopters and when it became clear that AgustaWestland was the company involved, they ordered four more. The CAG Report clearly said that the present 8 choppers were hardly utilised and the government paid an additional amount of Rs. 1200 crore for the extra four.
Allegation Number 4: In Jan 2006, the Air Force gave Rs. 793 crore as the benchmark estimate but in September 2008, the price negotiation committee fixed the price at a whopping Rs. 4877.5 crore. Former Defence Minister AK Antony had put his signature in the file.
Allegation Number 5: Middleman Christian Michel’s father was connected with several Congress leaders and that a handwritten note by him said that Rs. 125 crore was given as a bribe to facilitate the deal and the money was given to AP. This is mentioned in the documents available from the Italian court. The bribe was given to the political secretary and everyone knows whose political secretary that AP is.
Allegation Number 6: There are copies of agreement available where Michel was given 6 Million Euros to ‘manage’ Indian Media.
Watch Whole Speech here:
Parrikar and Swamy – Round 1 – Parrikar takes the Sword
Allegation Number 1: There was only one vendor selected for the deal. Rules were flouted openly for the deal. The country wants to know as to who instigated, supported and benefited from corruption. We can’t let this pass. The fact that there was corruption in the matter is brought out in extensive details in recent judgments of the Milan court. Investigation in the matter has so far revealed involvement of IDS Infotech as conduit for transfer of bribe money
Allegation Number 2: The benchmark cost given by the Contract Negotiation Committee was irrationally high and had provided no accurate basis for price negotiations
Allegation Number 3: CAG report highlighted that allowed offsets were not compliant with DPP. Many Indian offsets partners were not eligible
Allegation Number 4: The Field evaluation trials were conducted outside India. Field trials in India were of paramount importance because topographical conditions here differ from those in the US and the UK
Allegation Number 5: Strangely the Enforcement Directorate did not act on FIR till July 2014, it appears an invincible hand was guiding actions or inactions by the CBI and the ED.
Allegation Number 6: That bribes were paid and in UPA regime is known to everybody. Where did the money go is being is being investigated. After present government took over, CBI and ED have been rigorously pursuing all aspects of investigations
Watch Whole Speech here
And then Congress walked out. Parrikar and Swamy thank you for cutting through Congress’s lies. It is up to you to take this case to a logical conclusion: