AgustaWestland Case: Congress says ED an 'embarrassing disaster', BJP asks 'why are you scared'

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 30 December 2018, 07:47 PM
Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Centre was mounting pressure on Michel to make
Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Centre was mounting pressure on Michel to make "false" statements against the Gandhi family. (File)

The Congress termed the Enforcement Directorate an "embarrassing disaster" under the current dispensation on Sunday, a day after the investigating agency told Delhi's Patiala Court House that Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, had named 'Mrs Gandhi', but did not specify in which context the reference was made. 

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party is fully committed to probing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's "collusion" with AgustaWestland if it comes to power in 2019.

"The ED may save the Modi government today, but when it is voted out of power in 2019, we are committed to fully investigate PM Modi and his government's collusion with AgustaWestland," Surjewala told reporters, adding that "under Modi, the ED has become an embarrassing disaster."

Also Read | AgustaWestland | Christian Michel's letter reveals how he mounted pressure on Manmohan Singh: Report

On Saturday, the ED also told the special court that Michel had spoken about "the son of the Italian lady" and how he is going to become the "next prime minister of the country". ED's lawyer said Michel has spelled out how state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was removed from the deal and how it was offered to Tata instead.

Surjewala alleged that the Centre was mounting pressure on Michel to make "false" statements against the Gandhi family and dared it to place in the public domain any such evidence it has against the Congress leadership.

"They are using Christian Michel as a sounding board to defend its own wrong doings and misdeeds. Panicking and running scared, PM Modi and his government are now raking up controversies to hide its own government's connivance," he said.

"It is now clear that the 'chowkidaar is daagdaar' (the watchman is tainted)," he alleged.

Hitting the Congress back, the BJP accused the Rahul Gandhi-led party of "defending" Michel and asked why it was "scared" of an investigation into the case.

Also Read | AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel takes names of Mrs Gandhi, 'son of Italian lady': ED to court

The ruling party also condemned the Congress for allegedly giving a political colour to the issue and asked why the name of a Gandhi family member cropped up whenever a foreigner was caught for corruption.

BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi alleged that the Congress was "jittery" since Michel's extradition and its fears were evident as it sought to provide cover to him in court.

"Ever since Michael was brought back to India, the Congress expectedly is nervous and jittery and that is coming to the fore, as was evident at its press conference today," Trivedi told reporters.

First Published: Sunday, December 30, 2018 07:43 PM
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