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Cong slams PM for making AgustaWestland poll issue

Ghulam Nabi Azad quoted a newspaper report from an election rally addressed by Modi in Kerala

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 9 2016 1:33PM | Updated Date: May 9 2016 1:33PM

Cong slams PM for making AgustaWestland poll issue

 Rajya Sabha witnessed adjournments on Monday as Congress accused PM Narendra Modi of being lying and using the AgustaWestland row as poll issue.

 
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad quoted a newspaper report from an election rally addressed by Modi in Kerala and said government was using the deal to malign Congress.
 
"We discussed AgustaWestland in both Houses. In neither House did anyone say that UPA leaders took money. Neither has the (Italian) court said that UPA leaders took money," Azad said.
 
"We have said since beginning that purpose behind this row is not to discuss the issue inside the house, it is to use it outside the house and use it in elections to malign the Congress leadership. It is similar to what happened in the 1980s with Bofors," said Azad.
 
"The issue is being raised because it is being used against the Congress in the elections," he added.
 
He read out a newspaper report which said Modi as saying at an election rally that a UPA leader took money to buy the helicopters.
 
"Why didn't the prime minister speak in either house? When it was decided that there should be action, why is he making it an election issue?"
 
Azad also wondered if CBI, which is investigating the case, will be influenced by what the prime minister says.
 
"The CBI comes under the PM. if he is using this language, the CBI will be affected."
 
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi repeated the government's stand that guilty in the AgustaWestland case would be punished.
"Those who have given bribe are in jail, those who have taken bribe will be in jail very soon," Naqvi said.
 
Congress leader Anand Sharma asked the prime minister to give a clarification in the house.
 
"The PM must substantiate the statement he has made. He has said that the court has indicted Congress leaders," he said.
 
Congress members then raised slogans against Modi, calling him a liar.