CPI(M) wants Italian chopper deal scrapped
Posted on: 05:24 PM IST Feb 13, 2013
New Delhi: Demanding that the contract for the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal be scrapped in the wake of bribery charges, CPI(M) on Wednesday said it would seek the government's response on the issue in the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament. "The contract for the helicopters should be cancelled. The CBI investigations should be supervised by the Supreme Court and only then the people will have the confidence that we will get to the bottom of this affair," the CPI(M) Politbureau said in a statement.
"It is clear that the UPA government has failed to check high level corruption in defence contracts in the past eight years of its tenure. The helicopter deal is the latest," it said. Senior party leader Sitaram Yechury demanded an independent probe into the matter.
"We want an independent probe into the matter urgently and, unlike other probes, the matter should not be dragged for years. We are definitely going to raise the issue in the Budget Session and the Defence Minister will have to answer in Parliament," Yechury told reporters here.
He was replying to questions on the scam that unfolded with the arrest of the head of a state-controlled Italian aerospace company AgustaWestland on Tuesday. "We have said on many occasions and reiterating that these (defence deals) have to be kept under strict supervision and the matter should be thoroughly probed," Yechury said.
All the loopholes found in such an inquiry should be "plugged properly. We have been saying this since the last ten years. This fresh case re-emphasises the same point", he said.
Defence Minister AK Antony has asked the CBI to give an early report into alleged kickbacks in the helicopter deal.