This Article is From Apr 27, 2016

AgustaWestland Chopper Bribe-Takers Must Be Identified, Says Government: 10 Facts

The BJP has decided to attack Sonia Gandhi in Parliament over the AgustaWestland deal for choppers. (File Photo)


  • Sonia Gandhi, other top Congress leaders implicated in chopper scam: BJP
  • She was 'driving force' behind deal, say documents presented in court
  • There's no case, says Dr Manmohan Singh, also referred to in documents
New Delhi: The government today said that the "identity of the bribe takers" in the AgustaWestland scam, which involved an order for 12 helicopters for the use of VVIPs, must be established. The ruling BJP says that Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress leaders have been implicated in the scam - a point the Congress disputed in Parliament.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

  1. In Parliament, the BJP asked for a discussion on the Agusta scam in both houses. To prove it has nothing to hide, the Congress also sought a discussion about the contract for helicopters ordered in 2010 and cancelled in 2014.

  2. "The identity of the bribe-givers has been the identity of the bribe-takers" has to be revealed, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament. An Italian court has convicted two executives of AgustaWestland's parent company for offering bribes to land the India deal.

  3. Angry Congress lawmakers protested and forced an adjournment of the Rajya Sabha when the BJP's new MP Subramaniam Swamy sought to name Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as he raised the scam in the House. Mrs Gandhi's name was expunged by the chair.

  4. The BJP has decided to target Mrs Gandhi in Parliament after documents placed in the Italian court referred to her as "the driving force" in the decision to acquire the helicopters for Rs 3,600 crore. "All the accusations they are throwing at us are false," Mrs Gandhi said.

  5. The documents also refer to Dr Manmohan Singh, who was then Prime Minister. "There is no case, my party will respond on this," he told NDTV today.

  6. The Congress says that once talk of kickbacks erupted in Italy, it cancelled the Agusta helicopter deal, blacklisted the company and asked the CBI to investigate the scam.

  7. It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who decided, after coming to power, that AgustaWestland is eligible to bid for new defence contracts, the Congress says.

  8. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has challenged the Congress to prove that its government blacklisted AgustaWestland. He said he would make a statement in Parliament on the government's stand after the Italian court judgement is translated.

  9. At an emergency Congress meeting at Sonia Gandhi's residence this morning were the party's top speakers in Parliament like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Anand Sharma.

  10. The Italians claim that then Air Force chief SP Tyagi received kickbacks for the contract. He has denied any wrongdoing.