New Delhi, Dec 31 (GCCurrentAffairs) Charging the NDA Government of using investigating agencies to ‘manufacture lies’ in the AgustaWestland case, the Congress on Monday said that former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party president Rahul Gandhi never interfered in any defence deals during the rule of the previous UPA Government.
Addressing a joint press conference along with AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala, Mr Antony said, “I am surprised that the present government and the BJP are peddling lies and are trying to manufacture lies out of nothing. They are suing the investigating agencies to manufacture lies.
“As a former Defence Minister in the UPA Government, I want to state that Mrs Sonia Gandhi or Mr Rahul Gandhi never interfered in the AgustaWestland deal. In fact, Mrs Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi never interfered in any defence deal.’’
In this context, Mr Antony said that AgustaWestland was selected after evaluation by a team compromising Indian air force, Defence officials and the SPG.
‘’It was purely professional decision taken by a evaluation committee of IAF, Defence officials and the SPG,’’ Mr Antony said.
The former Defence Minister said that the moment reports came of there being corruption in the deal, he ordered a CBI enquiry.
‘’The moment there were report of corruption in the deal, we ordered a CBI enquiry into the deal. It was an unusual decision by our Government.
We also took a decision to file a case in Itali in a Milan court against AgustaWestland case. We ultimately won the case and managed to get the entire money given to the AgustaWestland company back. In 2014, we started the process of blacklisting the company. In contrast, the Modi government did not take any action against the company. Instead, it removed it from the blacklist and made it a partner in the Make in India programme,’’Mr Antony said.
On the BJP raking up the alleged involvement of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi in the AgustaWestland deal, Mr Antony said,’’without any iota of truth, they are raking up the names of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi. They are reporting lies while we are standing for truth. Their lies will not stand in the face of truth.’’
Mr Antony said that while the previous UPA Governemt shwoied the courage to fight against corruption, the NDA Government has faield to take any action against corruption.
‘’Our Government showed the courage to act against corruption. During our rule, we blacklisted many companies for indulging in corruption. On the other hand, the present NDA Government has failed to take action against corruption in the Rafale deal and have refused to respond to the opposition demand for a JPC probe into the deal as they fear that the truth will come out,’’Mr Antony said.