New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi fired a fresh salvo against the Congress and the Gandhis over the extradition of Christian Michel – the alleged middleman in politically-sensitive Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal.
“I had mentioned the VVIP helicopter case, I spoke about it, about the letter written by Sonia Gandhi. After BJP came to power, we looked for the files, we dug around. They had hidden it away. But one middleman finally was caught after years of digging and findings. Let’s see how far this goes,” said PM Modi while addressing an election rally in Rajasthan’s Sumerpur.
“Helicopter kaand ke raazdar aur dalal ko sarkar Dubai se pakad ke layi hai. Ab raazdar raaz kholega, pata nahi baat kahan tak jayegi, kitni duur tak jayegi (Government brought middleman involved in helicopter scam from Dubai, he served politicians and will now disclose secrets, don’t know to what extent this will go),” he said.
India is investigating charges that Michel, a British national, organised bribes to push a Rs.3,600-crore contract for VVIP helicopters to be purchased for top Indian leaders.
The AgustaWestland case involves the deal to purchase 12 luxury helicopters for use by the President, Prime Minister, former prime ministers and other VIPs, when Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led coalition was in power.
Christian Michel’s extradition by Dubai came through on a day Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj held discussions with her UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi.
Michel, 54, who was questioned all though the night at the CBI headquarters, will be produced before a Delhi court on Wednesday.
Michel is one of the three alleged middlemen being examined in the case, along with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.