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Centre spreading lies on Agusta deal: AK Antony

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 31, 2018 Published on December 31, 2018

Former Defence Minister AK Antony   -  PTI

As the Enforcement Directorate claimed in a Delhi court that the alleged middleman in the AugustaWestland chopper deal Christian Michel has named Congress leader Sonia Gandhi during the probe, the Opposition party fielded former Defence Minister AK Antony to defend the first family of the party. Antony said the BJP and the Centre are spreading lies and trying to manufacture “something out of nothing”.

No political interest

“They are misusing the agencies to manufacture lies,” Antony told reporters here on Monday. He said neither Sonia Gandhi nor her son and Congress President Rahul Gandhi had shown any interest in the deal during their tenure. “AugustaWestland was selected after first technical evaluation by a team of officials. They selected two companies — American company and AugustaWestland. A field evaluation was conducted by officials of Air Force, SPG and Defence Ministry. They recommended AugustaWestland. It was not a political decision but a purely professional recommendation,” Antony said.

He said the Centre acted the moment a report of corruption came from Italy. “I ordered a CBI enquiry. We took an unusual decision to fight this case in Italy against AugustaWestland. We joined the case as an interested party. We won the case and we got the entire money we gave to AugustaWestland,” he said.

He said though the UPA blacklisted the company, the Narendra Modi government did nothing against the AugustaWestland. “They could have taken many steps under the integrity pact. Instead, they favoured the company by making it a partner in Make in India,” he added.

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Published on December 31, 2018
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