BJP demands PM's apology on Quattrocchi

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has firmly trained its guns on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the Bofors scandal. The BJP today slammed the PM for shielding Italian businessman and Bofors accused Ottavio Quattrocchi. (Read: Will Quattrocchi be let off?)

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Mr PM you tried to give a clean chit to Quattrocchi".

Recollecting a statement that the Prime Minister had made earlier on Quattrocchi, the saffron party demanded for the latter's apology.

"I am quoting a PM's quote in the past: 'It's not a good reflection of Indian legal system that we harass people. The Q case is embarrassing for the Indian government'. When the IT tribunal has found 'Q' was the middleman and was given kickbacks, would the PM apologise for his earlier statement", Prasad said.

The BJP also attacked the Gandhi family for protecting Quattrocchi.

"Power was abused to bail out Quattrochi as he's close to the Gandhis...A big powerful hidden hand was available to save Quattrocchi."

The criticism came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today pleaded before a Delhi court that the ruling of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in Bofors payoffs case is "nothing new" and its application for withdrawing the proceedings against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi should be allowed. (Read: Will Quattrocchi be let off?)

"They first messed up the investigation deliberately. Now say they cannot make a case", Prasad said.