Setting the tone for the debate on the VVIP chopper scam in the Lok Sabha today, as well a Congress rally, party spokesman Jairam Ramesh alleged that the “sole objective” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah was to “fix” Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the scam.
Mr Ramesh also alleged that the Prime Minister had a “brushoff meeting” with his Italian counterpart in New York last year after which India “diluted” its position on the Italian Marines issue and invited AgustaWestland to participate in Make In India programme.
“Subramanian Swamy represents the politics of blackmail, insinuation and inneundo whose Jagadguru is Narendra Modi,” he claimed.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is expected to lead the party’s offensive in the House.
While there has been no formal word on who would pitch Congress’ case during the debate, talk in the party is that besides Rahul Gandhi, chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia and senior leader M Veerappa Moily would put forth the party’s view.
“The Narendra Modi-Amit Shah approach of governance is fake investigation ….They have no interest in bringing closure to any case,” he said making a strong pitch for a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the chopper deal.
He said that BSP, JD-U and Left parties along with Congress have demanded such a probe to ensure a “doctored” inquiry does not take place.
Alleging that the Modi dispensation wanted a “doctored inquiry to tell the world that Congress leadership is the beneficiary”, he alleged that “There is no doubt that the Prime Minister himself is masterminding the conspiracy to implicate the Congress leadership…”
“You cannot run the government by practising politics of vendetta, revenge and intimidation… Governments do not function by looking backwards but forward,” Mr Ramesh said.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, he said “acche din” (good days) for him would come only when the Congress leadership has been “fixed”.
Attacking Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the Congress leader said his reply in the Rajya Sabha to the debate on AgustaWestland issue yesterday was one of the “worst examples in parliamentary history” as instead of responding to issues raised by the opposition, he read out a “catalogue of accusations and charges”.
Mr Ramesh accused Manohar Parrikar of not maintaining the dignity expected of a Defence Minister by “resorting to a political speech”.
“The cat is out by the manner in which the Prime Minister last night tweeted and hailed Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s reply in Rajya Sabha on the issue. It shows not only his mindset but his strategy too,” Mr Ramesh said.
Mr Ramesh wondered that if BJP is against AgustaWestland, then why was the company invited to participate in ‘Make in India’ initiative.
On the issue of an alleged meeting between Prime Minister Modi and his Italian counterpart, he said while the External Affairs Ministry has denied that “there was any formal meeting, it has not refuted any brush off meeting, brush on meeting, informal meeting, tea meeting, coffee meeting.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had last week said reports about a meeting between the two Prime Ministers was “false and untrue in entirety. No such meeting at all has been held.”