I’m not afraid: So­nia dares BJP over chop­per deal al­le­ga­tions

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Cor­re­spon­dent letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A com­bat­ive Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi tore into the NDA gov­ern­ment on Wed­nes­day, ac­cus­ing it of in­dulging in “char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion” by link­ing her and other Congress lead­ers to a con­tro­ver­sial chop­per deal that was scrapped in 2014. “I am not afraid of any­one cor­ner­ing me as there is no ba­sis to that. All the ac­cu­sa­tions they are throw­ing at us are false,” she told re­porters in the Par­lia­ment com­plex shortly be­fore BJP leader Subra­ma­nian Swamy tar­geted her in Ra­jya Sabha.

Fol­low­ing vo­cif­er­ous protests by Congress MPs, Swamy’s ref­er­ence to her name was ex­punged.

The charges and coun­ter­charges erupted af­ter a Mi­lan court con­victed two Ital­ian of­fi­cials for brib­ing In­dian of­fi­cials and politi­cians to se­cure the Rs3,727-crore con­tract in 2010.

Agus­taWest­land, a sub­sidiary of Ital­ian de­fence gi­ant Fin­mec­ca­nica, al­legedly paid more than Rs 375 crores as bribe in the deal to sup­ply 12 VVIP he­li­copters to In­dia.

I am not afraid of any­one cor­ner­ing me as there is no ba­sis to that. All ac­cu­sa­tions they are throw­ing at us are false. SO­NIA GANDHI, Cong pres­i­dent

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