Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday rejected as “baseless” allegations linking her and party leaders to bribes in the AgustaWestland chopper deal and said she is not “afraid” of being “cornered” on the issue.
She asked the government what it has been doing in power for the last two years on the issue and demanded that the ongoing inquiry be completed impartially.
“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,” Gandhi told reporters in Parliament complex as BJP sought to target her on the deal.
Angry exchanges between opposition Congress and ruling BJP members over Subramaniam Swamy seeking to drag Sonia Gandhi’s name in the controversial AgustaWestland helicopter contract bribery case led to two adjournments of the Rajya Sabha in the pre-noon session.
However, Gandhi’s name was later expunged by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien.
Swamy had raised the issue through a zero hour notice, his first intervention since he took oath in the House yesterday, and referred to the allegations made by Christian Micheal, the middleman in the scandal, through a letter in the High Court of Italy.
The naming of Gandhi led the Congress members to angrily storm into the Well, with a handful even moving closer to the treasury benches menacingly. Members of the treasury benches too got up on their seats to counter the opposition.
The VVIP chopper deal relates to a 2010 decision of the UPA government to buy 12 helicopters from Italian manufacturer, Finmeccanica. But reports later said the Italian company had paid a bribe of up to Rs 3,565 crore to swing the deal.