'Choppergate' sparks fireworks in Rajya Sabha
Debate on the AgustaWestland scam spiraled into a chaos that rocked the Rajya Sabha; the BJP directly attacked the Gandhi family. BJP Rajya Sabha member Bhupendra Yadav started the debate in the house and accused Congress of corruption to favor the chopper deal. He alleged that Congress provided a 'convenient' backdoor entry to AgustaWestland and added that all defence procurements must be made transparent.
Genesis of the Indian chopper scandal
On 12 February 2013, the CEO of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi was arrested and with his detention, the chopper scandal broke out. India had signed a contract for the purchase of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010. With the arrest of AgustaWestland's parent company's CEO by Italian authorities, India's Defense Minister AK Antony ordered a probe into the contract.
IAF chief, 12 others named in FIR
Names of former IAF Chief SP Tyagi and 12 others including former Union Minister-Santosh Bagrodia's brother Satish Bagrodia surfaced in the CBI's FIR for alleged cheating and criminal conspiracy in the Rs.3600-crore VVIP helicopter deal.
Subramanian Swamy lashes out at Congress
Subramanian Swamy's comments on Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi left the party on its feet. He said that Sonia Gandhi must be interrogated in connection with the case even before former PM Manmohan Singh. He questioned Congress, who the 'AP' mentioned in Italian court documents was, indicating that the mentioned 'AP' could be Congress president Sonia Gandhi's close aide Ahmed Patel.
Rahul's aide has connection with the middleman: Somaiya
Both houses of the Parliament saw a battle between the NDA government and the opposition Congress as they debated the alleged corruption in the AgustaWestland deal. Kirit Somaiya raised the issue during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha and targeted Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Somaiya also alleged that Rahul Gandhi's political aide has some connection with the middleman in the chopper deal.
Enough of AP, CP, VP: Congress tells BJP
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Sanghvi responded to BJP's allegations and called BJP 'insecure'. He added that BJP is trying to force corruption-charges on people who aren't connected to the deal. Singhvi reacted to the comment on 'AP' listed in Italian court documents and said that there are many Indian APs including Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel and asked BJP to stop speculating about the scam.
Ex-Defence Minister admitted that there was corruption: Parrikar
Defence Minister Parrikar revealed details about the AgustaWestland choppergate today in Rajya Sabha. He stated that an invisible hand had guided the investigations carried by the CBI and ED. He said that the choppers were tested in the development stage; he questioned why the field-evaluation tests weren't conducted in India. He added that ex-Defence Minister Antony himself admitted that the procurement process was violated.