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Will place detailed documents on AgustaWestland in Parl. on May 4: Parrikar

Manohar-Parrikar

Panaji : With the political slugfest over the AgustaWestland chopper contract escalating, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that he would place the detailed chronology with documents giving facts about the deal before Parliament on May 4.

“I will place the detailed chronology with documents giving facts about AgustaWestland chopper deal before Parliament on May 4,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Parrikar sought a clarification from the former UPA regime as to who received the alleged kickbacks in the AgustaWestland chopper deal.

“The moot question is who took the money in Agusta deal. Those who were at the helm at the time when the deal was struck owe an explanation. The Italian court has clearly said that an amount of Rs 125 crore was paid. It has even disclosed some names. The government of that day needs to answer,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Dehradun.

The Defence Minister had on Friday said that no agreement has been signed with any country for the procurement or purchase of fighter aircraft.

In a written reply to Jitendra Chaudhury and others in the Lok Sabha, Parrikar said, “No agreement has been signed with Russia for procurement of fighter aircraft equipped with stealth technology. However, an Inter-Governmental agreement has been signed with Russian Federation for design, development, production, etc, of a Prospective Multi Role Fighter Aircraft.”

He said, “The Indian Air Force (IAF) is equipped to cater for the threat environment that exists and is ready to meet the role assigned to it. Operational preparedness of the IAF is reviewed from time to time, based on the threat perception.”

Parrikar had earlier challenged the Congress to show the UPA government order blacklisting the AgustaWestland in connection with the VVIP chopper scam.

He also said that the ministry has received a copy of the Italian court order and is in the process of translating it into English.

AgustaWestland’s Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force had been scrapped by the previous UPA regime over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents.

In January 2013, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA Government cancelled the deal and the CBI was assigned to investigate whether kickbacks were paid to Indian officials. (ANI)

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