We’ll do in Agusta what we couldn’t in Bofors: Parrikar
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
CONTINUED ON P11
RELATED REPORTS, P10