We’ll do in Agusta what we couldn’t in Bo­fors: Par­rikar

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

NEW DELHI: De­fence min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar fired the Bo­fors barb at the Congress, declar­ing the gov­ern­ment’s in­tent to catch the VVIP he­li­copter scam ben­e­fi­cia­ries un­like the tainted how­itzer deal of the 1980s in which the ac­cused were not cap­tured. “What we could not do in Bo­fors, maybe we can do it in Agusta West­land,” he said, wrap­ping up a high-deci­bel de­bate in the Lok Sabha.

He was re­fer­ring to a 1986 de­fence deal with Swedish gun­maker Bo­fors. The Congress had lost the 1989 elec­tion be­cause of the scam and po­lit­i­cal ri­vals dragged for­mer PM Ra­jiv Gandhi’s name into the scan­dal, though the ju­di­ciary cleared him in 2004. Par­rikar’s re­marks were in re­sponse to Congress’s at­tempt to turn the ta­bles on the gov­ern­ment over the Agusta West­land he­li­copter scan­dal. The Op­po­si­tion ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of try­ing to cre­ate an “il­lu­sion” through base­less al­le­ga­tions but do­ing noth­ing to iden­tify the cul­prit or re­cover the money.

The truth may lead to many un­wanted re­al­ism. What we could not do in Bo­fors, may be we will do it in Agusta West­land. MANOHAR PAR­RIKAR, de­fence min

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