AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam controversy: Rahul Gandhi says he is happy to be targeted

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New Delhi | Updated: May 6, 2016 12:11:03 PM

The VVIP chopper deal relates to a 2010 decision of the UPA government to buy 12 helicopters from Italian manufacturer, Finmeccanica.

"I am always being targeted, I am happy to be targeted," Gandhi said outside the Parliament. (PTI Photo)“I am always being targeted, I am happy to be targeted,” Gandhi said outside the Parliament. (PTI Photo)

Amidst the raging AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal controversy, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that he is always targeted. “I am always being targeted, I am happy to be targeted,” Gandhi said outside the Parliament.

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.

Gandhi was  asked about BJP MP Kirit Somaiya’s letter to ED and CBI asking them to check Gandhi’s links with a real estate developer allegedly involved in the CWG scam and also the alleged connections of his political aide with a middleman in the AgustaWestland deal.

Training his guns on Rahul Gandhi, Somaiya asked CBI and ED to “check” his links with a real estate developer allegedly involved in the CWG scam and also the alleged connections of a political aide of the Congress vice president with a middleman in the AgustaWestland deal.

Kirit Somaiya said this in a letter to the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate(ED).

Kanishka Singh, who is Rahul’s aide, rejected as entirely baseless, false and with an ulterior political motive the allegations levelled by Somaiya against him.

Referring to his earlier letters to the agencies, Somaiya said Guido Haschke, an alleged middleman in the chopper deal, is common in both the scams and that he is linked to Christian Michel, an accused in the VVIP choppers scam. “I would request you to check the cross connectivity and do the needful,” he said.

Last week Congress President Sonia Gandhi 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 said.

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