Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being the “protector, benefactor and promoter” of AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica, the Congress on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe into Modi’s role in “exonerating” the Italian defence and aerospace major which was blacklisted by the then UPA Government.
The party in a statement said the BJP and the Prime Minister are “latching” on to Christian Michel for a “smear campaign” against Opposition leaders.
AICC chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that facing “imminent defeat” in State polls, Modi and the BJP Government are seeking to “weave a web of lies” and construct a “mesh of deception to hoodwink” the people of India in the chopper scam case.
In his rally in Rajasthan on the last day of campaigning before the State elections on Friday, Modi referred to the extradition of Michel saying, “The Government has brought the middleman involved in a helicopter scam from Dubai. He served politicians and will now disclose secrets.”
“While the BJP and PM Modi are seeking fake credit without being subjected to investigation by the CBI for their own complicity and connivance, they are latching on to Christian Michel for committing a smear campaign against Opposition leaders. The truth of Christian Michel is already out in the open,” he claimed.
Surjewala alleged the statement made by Michel’s advocate Rosemary Patrizi Dos Anjos after his detention in July had “clearly brought out” that the Modi Government and its agencies were forcing him to sign a false confessional statement naming UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in return for complete exoneration from any charge whatsoever in the case.
“Even Christian Michel’s sister had come out and reiterated the coercions of falsely naming Opposition leaders as a ticket of exoneration of Christian Michel,” he said. He claimed that never before in the history of India has a Prime Minister been found “complicit” in gaining “false evidence” against Opposition leaders to seek “revenge”.
Surjewala also said it is time the CBI investigated the Prime Minister for his alleged role in “exonerating” AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica instead of “weaving a fake story” to deflect attention from the “imminent defeat” in five States.
The ruling BJP had said on Tuesday that the extradition in the case from the UPA era is a diplomatic victory for India and could spell “serious trouble” for the Congress’ “first family”, referring to Gandhis.
It also asserted that the development was an unequivocal affirmation of the Modi Government’s “seriousness in fighting corruption”.