This Article is From May 03, 2016

In Writing, BJP Links Agusta Middleman To Rahul Gandhi's Close Aide

Rahul Gandhi will be asked to explain in Parliament why an Agusta middlemen was employed by a firm linked to his aide Kanishka Singh, the BJP said.


  • An Agusta middleman was Director for Emaar-MGF, says BJP
  • Emaar set up by family of Rahul Gandhi's close aide, Kanishka Singh
  • Agusta middleman didn't attend board meetings, visit offices: Emaar
New Delhi: After a brief hiatus for about two years, the AgustaWestland scam, which saw bribes being paid by the Anglo-Italian firm to land an order for 12 helicopters, has returned to render the Congress badly bruised.

An Italian court's order last month comes across as a virtual slide-show against top Congress leaders, many of whom are mentioned by name in documents it used to conclude that bribes adding up to 30 million euros were paid in India for the helicopter deal. Among those named is Sonia Gandhi, Congress chief, though the court does not indict her for corruption.

The BJP says that the Italian verdict pulls the blinds open on how the Congress colluded with Agusta. Today, the BJP's Kirit Somaiya said that Mrs Gandhi's son and Congress No 2 Rahul Gandhi will be asked by him in parliament to explain why one of the Agusta middlemen was employed as Director by a firm linked closely to his aide, Kanishka Singh.

Mr Haschke is one of three middlemen that India wants to question about the deal. Yet ,Mr Somaiya said, when the Congress was in power, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, ignored his letters which pointed out that Mr Haschke was serving as a Director  in 2009 for real estate developer Emaar-MGF, promoted for Mr Singh's family. Agusta landed the helicopter deal in 2010.

Mr Somaiya says he has written anew to the investigating agencies.

"Will Rahul Gandhi deny that he and Kanishka Singh have a close relation, and Kanishka's family is the founder of Emaar-MGF? Will Rahul Gandhi respond how and why Haschke was a Director in the company? We would like to know from Rahul Gandhi if this is a coincidence that the Italian government has named (Sonia) Gandhi and Haschke. The Gandhi Parivaar has to explain," he told NDTV.

Emaar MGF was started by VP Gupta, Mr Singh's grandfather. Mr Singh today described Mr Somaiya's allegations as false, said he has no links to the branch of his family that runs Emaar currently, and that the BJP leader should "provide material at the earliest to his own Government and its agencies, which will facilitate investigation".

When contacted by NDTV, an Emaar spokesperson  said that Mr Haschke was on its board for two months and that he "did not attend any board meeting during his tenure of appointment and infact has never visited our offices at any time nor has had any meetings with any of our officials at any time".

After a plea bargain with Italian prosecutors, Mr Haschke is believed to be living in a small Swiss resort town. It was on the basis of his tapped phone conversations and notes that the Italians were able to prove their case of corruption.