Swaraj Abhiyan Hits Back At Raman Singh On AgustaWestland Deal

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Swaraj Abhiyan Hits Back At Raman Singh On AgustaWestland Deal

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had dismissed the charges as "baseless" and "politically motivated". (File photo)


New Delhi:  Swaraj Abhiyan today hit back at Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on a AugustaWestland helicopter deal, saying instead of calling the charges against him as political motivated, he should respond to them.

"Today when he (Prashant Bhushan) questions your misdeeds, he is an agent of the Congress. Sir, would you care to answer these questions instead of levelling these charges," Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said.

Yesterday, Mr Bhushan and Mr Yadav accused the Chhattisgarh government of floating a global tender in a "shady manner" to purchase a specific AugustaWestland helicopter by paying "over 30 per cent" commission without exploring options.

The two had also sought to link Raman Singh's son Abhishek to the controversy, alleging Abhishek Singh formed a company called Quest Heights Ltd on July 3, 2008, almost six months after the bulk of the payment was made by the state government to Sharp Ocean, an agent company.

Mr Singh had dismissed the charges as "baseless" and "politically motivated" and accused Mr Bhushan of trying to dilute the issue saying there was no irregularity in the helicopter deal.

He said senior Congress leaders were facing heat over the scam involving corruption to the tune of several crores of rupees and these baseless charges against a BJP-ruled state were "an attempt to divert the attention".

Mr Bhushan said everything they had said is based as per the documents procured under the RTI from the Chhattisgarh government.

He added that right from the beginning, the Chhattisgarh government was dealing with a commission agent of AgustaWestland whom they had given more than "30 per cent commission".

"Thereafter an account was found on the ICIJ website in the name of Abhishek Singh through a company called Quest Heights and the address given of the company and Abhishek is the same as Raman Singh's address.

"This certainly raises suspicion, but it is a strong evidence that kickbacks were paid in this deal and that kickbacks were appeared to have been deposited in British Virgin Island account," Mr Bhushan said.

This charge has also been refuted by Mr Singh and his son Abhishek.

"If Mr Raman Singh or his son says that it is not his account, then why didn't they ask the government to investigate the account," Mr Bhushan added.

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