AgustaWestland row in Chhattisgarh: Swaraj Abhiyan drags BJP into chopper row

By: | Updated: December 11, 2016 3:03 PM

Seeking to drag BJP into the raging chopper row, Swaraj Abhiyan today accused the party's government in Chhattisgarh of floating a global tender in a "shady manner" to purchase a specific AugustaWestland helicopter by paying "over 30 percent" commission without exploring options.

Seeking to drag BJP into the raging chopper row, Swaraj Abhiyan today accused the party’s government in Chhattisgarh of floating a global tender in a “shady manner” to purchase a specific AugustaWestland helicopter by paying “over 30 percent” commission  without exploring options.

Addresing a media conference here, Swaraj Abhiyan leaders, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, accused the Raman Singh government in the state of paying USD 1.57 million as commission to a company registered in tax-haven British Virginia Islands to procure the chopper.

The two also sought to link Raman Singh’s son to the controversy saying Abhishek formed a company called Quest Heights Ltd on July 3, 2008 almost six months after the bulk of the payment was made by the state government to Sharp Ocean, an agent company.

Welcoming the NDA Government’s “earnestness” to probe the matter, the leaders sought an enquiry to be initiated into the deal finalised by the state government by a former judge to be recommended by Chief Justice of India.

“It was pretended that the (state) government floated a global tender, while it was (specifically) written in the tender which model was to be purchased.

“And the bids interestingly were received from AugustaWestland, its commission agent and its service provider itself. And based on that the contract was finalised,” Bhushan said.

He added, “The contract invoice shows the cost of the helicopter was only 5.1 million dollar, which was paid to AgustaWestland and 1.57 million dollar commission was given to commission agent Sharp Ocean based in British Virgin island.”

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