Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad on 17 November said in press conference that no defence deal was complete without kickbacks during Congress tenure. While addressing a press conference in party headquarters Shri Prasad launched a scathing attack on Congress for recent revelations in the Agustawestland case.
In the Rs 3000 crore Agustawestland VVIP helicopter purchase scam the main accused Rajiv Saxena has made several key revelations. In this testimony Rajiv Saxena has named son of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Bakul Nath, his nephew Ratul Puri, besides senior Congress leader and ex Union Minister Salman Khurshid and close confidant of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel.
In the press conference Shri Prasad said “In the Agustawestland scam names of senior Congress leaders have come out and an important witness has made serious revelations. This has been mentioned in the Enforcement Directorate charge sheet also.” He asked if the Congress and its top leadership would now speak up on these charges.
Shri Prasad said “Whenever there is mention of any defence deal the names of Congress leaders crop up, Congress leaders never disappoint the nation in this. Congress leaders have always compromised with the nation’s security.” He said, “Why does Congress always play with national security?”
He added “In the Agustawestland scam the main accused Rajiv Saxena in his statement before investigating agencies has taken names of Kamal Nath and Salman Khurshid. He has also confirmed that AP that has come up in the case means Ahmed Patel.”
“If AP is Ahmed Patel then Kamal uncle means Kamal Nath. Similarly what FAM in the case means should be clarified. Does FAM means Family? Everybody knows what family in Congress means. Nation is now awakened. Now when credible evidence in ED chargesheet has mentioned senior Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should now break their silence. Their silence or denial would not work now. Though investigating agencies are after all accused in the Agustawestland scam, Congress should tell the nation what are the relations of the Family and senior Congress leaders with Sanjay Bhandari?”
Taking a dig at the Congress Party Shri Prasad said, “Whenever you hear about kickbacks in defence deals the name of Congress party will also be associated. Whenever you think of kickbacks in a military deal of defence, you have no option but to think of Congress leaders.”
He alleged, “In all defence deals post Independence involvement of Congress leaders in bribery and kickbacks have come up be it the Jeep scam, Bofors scam, Submarine scam, Howitzer scam and Agustawestland scam. The Congress culture is – No deal without a deal & No contract without a cut.”
He added, “It has been six years since BJP led NDA came to power but still the scams of UPA era are still surfacing. In the UPA era in 2010 a deal worth Rs 3,600 crore was signed to buy 12 VVIP helicopters. The scam of 70 million Euros was committed in this deal. The Manmohan Singh government was forced to order a CBI inquiry in the deal in February 2013 under the pressure of BJP.”
“After much commotion and embarrassment the Congress led UPA government had to cancel the Agustawestland deal in January 2014. But the UPA Government failed to act against any culprits in the case. First arrest in the case was made in September 2014 under the Narendra Modi government when Gautam Khaitan was arrested. Under the BJP led NDA Government several other arrests of key accused which include former Air Force chief SP Tyagi, Sanjeev Tyagi, Sunesh Mohan Gupta, Ratul Puri and Gautam Khaitan were arrested. Moreover, in December 2018 Kristian Michael and in July 2019 Rajeev Saxena were extradited from Dubai and brought to India.”
He said,”Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri runs a trust named ‘Savnaah’ and its beneficiaries are Bakul Nath and Nakul Nath who are sons of Congress leader Kamal Nath.”
The added that the Bharatiya Janata Party strongly criticized the corrupt actions of senior Congress leaders who had taken kickbacks in defence deals and compromised the nation’s security.
He said, “Congress will have to answer the people for its corrupt dealings.”