Congress fears BJP may disrupt budget session


New Delhi : Fearing disruptions in parliament, the Congress Wednesday accused the BJP of politicising the allegations of graft in the VVIP chopper deal and 2G spectrum to raise them during the budget session from Feb 21.

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“All these issues are being developed into a political issue to be raised in parliament…The BJP will not gain anything from this…It may raise the issues but we hope they will not cross the limits,” Congress spokesperson P.C. Chacko told reporters here.

The defence ministry has ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the $750 million deal for 12 VVIP AgustaWestland helicopters, following the arrest, in Italy, of its manufacturer Finmeccanica’s chief on charges of graft.

“The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has no agenda to oppose the government in the session…hence it is trying to raise a smoke screen of corruption in defence deals,” Chacko said.

Ruling out wrong-doing in the VVIP chopper deal, Chacko said this was not possible due to a transparency clause under which any defence equipment supplier had to sign an integrity pact with the government if the deal was worth over Rs.300 crore.

“The defence minister has already ordered a time-bound inquiry…If any wrong-doing is found, strong action will be taken…the firm may be blacklisted and the deal cancelled,” said Chacko.

Any decision on this will be taken only after the CBI probe, he said. He defended the government, saying there was no delay in ordering a probe.

“As soon as the issue surfaced, the government had written to the Italian and UK governments asking them to furnish details…but nothing has come,” said Chacko.

The CBI Monday removed A.K. Singh, its chief prosecutor in the 2G spectrum case, after he was allegedly found to have discussed the prosecution strategy with one of the accused. The CBI possesses an audio recording with the suspected voices of Singh and one of the accused.

The issue has led to huge uproar and attack by the opposition parties, including the BJP, against the government.