BJP dubs UPA's chopper deal another Bofors

Sensing a ‘second Bofors scam in the making’, the BJP on Wednesday demanded that the government reveal the names of bribe takers in the Italian chopper deal in which Rs 350 crore kickback is alleged to have been paid in India.

The main Opposition party also vowed to corner “the most corrupt government (UPA) since independence” in Parliament.

"It is a Bofors-like scam. When bribe-giver has been caught, why can't the bribe-taker be identified. How long will the Indian government save the bribe-takers,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters here.

Congress, fearing disruption in Parliament, charged the main Opposition with politicising corruption charges. The CPM, accusing the UPA government of failing to check  high level corruption in defence contracts in the past eight years of its tenure, demanded that the contract be cancelled and that the CBI investigation ordered by the government be supervised by Supreme Court.

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the government’s silence for one whole year even after newspapers reported suspected kickbacks in the deal.

“Let the government explain why no inquiry was held so far. Also, why no serious attempt was made to secure relevant information from Italy,” Prasad said.

He said Defence minister A K Antony had told Parliament that there were no irregularities in the Rs 3,500 crore copter deal and that the Italian government was not sharing information on the deal. "Why did Antony not write to the Italian Defence Minister or send a delegation to Italy to get more details?" Prasad asked.

Citing many parallels between the scandalous Bofors gun deal and the copter purchase, the spokesperson said, "This deal raises a serious question: One gentleman, Ottavio Quattrocchi, from Italy was involved in the Bofors scam.

Several attempts were made to protect him. This helicopter company is also from Italy. Was this a factor in no probe being held for the past one year?"

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