New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday asserted that someone very powerful was involved in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper bribery scandal.
Speaking to ANI, Parrikar said he did not take anybody’s name (while speaking in Parliament) but added that “it’s clear someone very powerful was involved in corruption” .
The minister further said all angles need to be investigated in the case that pertains to acquisition of 12 VVIP choppers for a cost of over Rs 3600 crores.
“All documents need proper reading,” Parrikar added.
He separately told PTI that the government will not hesitate to take action against those who are proven guilty of corruption whether it’s the “first family” or the “last family”, as no one is above law.
“I feel no one is above the law. So whether it is the last family or the first, I don’t see any reason why anyone should be given a differential treatment, provided you have proper legal evidence,” Parrikar said.
He said this in response to a question on whether the government could take on the Gandhi family, which is often referred to as the first family of Indian politics.
The minister, while referring to his statement in the Lok Sabha in which he hoped to do what could not be done in the Bofors case, said, “We have the intention and seriousness and I will ensure that proper and good attempts are made. So there is every possibility we may be able to (do).”
Speaking in the Lok Sabha yesterday, Parrikar had said that the previous UPA government had “done everything” to help AgustaWestland bag the chopper deal.
He had also asserted that the main beneficiaries of the kickbacks will be tracked so that “may be we can do” what “we could not do in Bofors”.
The “entire corruption” in the deal took place during the UPA tenure but former Air Force chief SP Tyagi and businessman Gautam Khaitan are “small people” who “simply washed their hands in a flowing ganga (of corruption)” and that the government will “find out where the river was going”.
An Italian court judgement in the case has mentioned the names of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel, and former prime minister Manmohan Singh but did not say whether these people were involved.
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