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Rahul, Sonia must explain role in Augusta-Westland chopper deal: Maharashtra CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday wondered why the Gandhi family’s name always surfaces in cases of wrongdoings in defence deals. Addressing a press conference here, he demanded that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former party president Sonia Gandhi explain their role in the Augusta-Westland VVIP chopper deal amid allegations of them having received kickbacks.

Mr. Fadnavis also attacked Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who in a statement on Sunday had supported the Gandhis and said power is being misused by the ruling party to target opposition. “Congress now has an advocate as big as Sharad Pawar. Even he has no option but to speak for the Congress,” he said.

“The Italian court order regarding Augusta-Westland has named Sonia Gandhi four times. Christian Michel, the key accused, has named Ms. Gandhi and ‘her son who could become Prime Minister’. It is clear that commission worth ₹225 crore is being fixed in this case of which ₹125 crore has been delivered. We demand that the Gandhi family must come out in open and explain to the country about this,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra unit Congress president Ashok Chavan slammed the CM and questioned his priorities. “Over 17,000 farmers have committed suicides in the State, explosives were found at the home of a right-wing activist of Sanatan Sanstha, loan waiver announced by the government is not yet over and CM never thought about addressing a press conference on these issues. He should decide whether he is the party leader or leading the state,” Mr. Chavan said.

It was the UPA government, led by Congress, which initiated probe into the VVIP chopper case through CBI, he said. “The ruling BJP is using this case to intimidate the opposition. We have nothing to hide. Rather it was this BJP which removed the said company from the black list and even brought it in Make in India. Our government had initiated even the recovery of money from this company,” the Congress leader said.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 8:42:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rahul-sonia-must-explain-role-in-augusta-westland-chopper-deal-maharashtra-cm/article25874595.ece

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