Antony's statement conceals more than it reveals: BJP

Antony's statement conceals more than it reveals: BJP

BJP today termed Defence Minister A K Antony's statement in Rajya Sabha on AugustaWestland issue as "very curious" and alleged it "conceals more than it reveals" as the government has not flatly denied the allegations made by middlemen in the VVIP chopper deal.

The opposition party also questioned if there was any "match-fixing" going on in Italy after India's Defence Ministry and CBI had joined the hearings in the case there.

"Today's statement of the Defence Minister is very curious...The statement of the Defence Minister conceals more than it reveals before Parliament," BJP's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad said.

Asking the Defence Minister why he did not flatly deny the allegations by middleman Christian Michel as baseless and instead said the authenticity of certain notes by middlemen in the VVIP chopper deal in trying to target certain Indian leaders were "not proved".

"Why cannot the government of India so flatly deny that the allegations made are completely baseless...It could have been denied straight away and upfront.

"In the statement of the Defence Minister, why is there no categroical denial that all the statement of Michel Christian which has been elaborately reported in newspaper as Sonia Gandhi being the driving force," he said.

Expressing surprise at Guido Hashcke's statements on trial on the deal in Italy, Prasad said, "it is very surprising that Hashcke is explaining 'FAM' as Tyagi brothers and Hashke are not able to explain what does 'AP' mean.

"Therefore, someone somewhere...attempts are being made to influence witnesses also is our apprehension in view of the surrounding circumstances", he added.

Questioning the role of Defence Ministry and CBI in joining the case as an affected party in Italy, the BJP leader said, "how is it and why is it that Hashcke is explaining family. Is there any match-fixing going on in Italy that Defence Ministry and CBI have joined the hearing in Italy?"

BJP also questioned the government's role in not allowing the Income Tax to investigate the AugustaWestland deal and CAG to complete its audit.

"All these suspicious circumstances only reinforce the apprehensions that I am expressing," Prasad said.

Defence Minister A K Antony today said in Rajya Sabha that certain notes have come to light suggesting that middlemen in the VVIP chopper deal were trying to target certain Indian leaders but their authenticity is "not proved". 

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