Parrikar questions Cong’s claim on blacklisting AgustaWestland

parrikarDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar today challenged the Congress to show the UPA government order blacklisting the Anglo-Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland in connection with the VVIP chopper scam.

Parrikar, who said that he will speak in detail in Parliament on the issue in the near future, informed that the Ministry has received a copy of the Italian court order and is in the process of translating it into English.

He said that the process might take 8-10 days.

Parrikar also took a dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying translation from Italian was not easy, “at least for the ruling side. May not be a difficult task for the opposition”.

A combative Parrikar hit back when asked about Congress’ allegation that while UPA had blacklisted the company, the NDA government removed it from the blacklist.

“When did they blacklist? Ask them first. Ask them what date the order was issued? Show me the copy of the order,” the Minister said.

Asked if he meant that the firm was never blacklisted, he said, “I am not saying that”.

Interestingly, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on February 5, 2014, the then Defence Minister A K Antony, while giving details on AgustaWestland, had said, “No decision has been taken till date to debar the said company”.

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