Probe 'driving force' behind deal: Swamy to CBI

Probe 'driving force' behind deal: Swamy to CBI

'Before even (former PM), she should be interrogated first'

Probe 'driving force' behind deal: Swamy to CBI

BJP’s recently nominated Subramanian Swamy made his debut speech in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, demanding that the CBI question the "driving force" behind AgustaWestland copter deal scam, alluding to  Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

"Before even (former PM) Dr Manmonhan Singh, she should be interrogated first by the CBI," Swamy stated as he desired the probe to uncover who were paid bribes by defence manufacturer AgustaWestland to secure an order to supply 12 helicopters to India.

Though vouching for Manmohan Singh’s integrity, the BJP member suggested that the former prime minister should be probed to ascertain facts in the Italian court judgement on the shady deal where it says that the UPA government did not share documents of the case barring routine stuff, including CAG report. This was after a call went to Singh.

Under advice from BJP higher-ups, Swamy did not take Sonia Gandhi's name, but he did not mince his words either. He referred to her as "a super cabinet" and a "higher authority than then PM Manmohan Singh" as he alleged that there is plenty of evidence to prove that she was a principal player in the scam. The allegation has been aggressively denied by both Sonia and her party.

Swamy's reference to Sonia Gandhi had her party, the largest party in the upper house, on its feet in protest. Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded that all that has been said should be authenticated. The chair asked Swamy to do so and he agreed.

Swamy, who has been taking on the Gandhi family before becoming MP too, said the Italy high court judgement on the scam lists commission paid to secure the deal which is equivalent to the tune of Rs 250 crore. The contract was cancelled after the controversy broke out. In that, he read out, names, including that of middleman Guido Haschke, IAF, political leaders and AP hinting at political secretary to Sonia Gandhi Ahmed Patel, were mentioned against amount paid to them.

Levelling charges against AP on the basis of Italian court order, the BJP MP said that photos of ‘AP’ were shown to Haschke to confirm the identity and he accepted that the person is Ahmed Patel. 

Swamy identified three instances that he said reeked of “malafide” intention during the UPA regime to create a situation in favour of Agusta.

First, he said copter’s cabin height was increased to 1.80 metres from about 1.45 metres accepted internationally. He remarked in a lighter vein that this was done, perhaps, to accommodate a tall Congress leader like Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is Leader of Opposition of the House.