NDA tried to misguide AugustaWestland probe, says Parrikar

NDA tried to misguide AugustaWestland probe, says Parrikar

New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that efforts were made by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to misguide the probe in AugustaWestland chopper deal.

The Defence Minister was speaking in the Lok Sabha during a debate on the VVIP chopper scam.

“The field trials of the chopper were initially opposed by (then defence minister) AK Antony. But he was later convinced to change his stand,” Parrikar contended.

Congress members, including party chief Sonia Gandhi and floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge, among others, were present in the house as the debate began.

What Parrirkar said:

  • Concessions were given especially to single vendor.
  • It was not given to other companies.
  • Benchmark cost was worked out was euro 727 million, approximately Rs.4, 877.50 crore, which is “six times” the estimated project cost of Rs.793 crore.
  • Antony ordering CBI probe was actually not suo moto but was “forced upon” on the government as things were moving on the other side.