The Central Bureau of Investigation today (9 December) arrested former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal, along with Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan and S P Tyagi’s cousin, Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie Tyagi. The CBI said they were arrested for accepting illegal gratification in exchange for exercising influence through corrupt or illegal means.
At this time, it’s pertinent to ask: Is there a possible connection between the chopper case and Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well?
The AgustaWestland scam seems to suggest a connection. No less than her confidante (officially her political secretary) Ahmed Patel is alleged to have received kickbacks from the VVIP chopper deal. The Milan Court of Appeals, an Italian court, even named the Congress President and United Progressive Alliance chairperson four times in the 225-page judgement of the court.
As per the judgement, one of the middlemen in the deal, Guido Haschke, even identified Sonia Gandhi, among other leaders, when he was shown their pictures during the trial.
Additionally, in a letter from middleman Christian Michel to AW’s India head Peter Hulett, Sonia Gandhi is described as the “driving force”. Also, why would a broker, officially unconnected to the defence contract, be discussing with the company representative what helicopter Sonia Gandhi would fly in?
The other people named in the judgement include Veerappa Moily, identified by the company as an adviser to Sonia, another Sonia confidante Oscar Fernandes and Sonia’s aide Vinay Singh, among others.
As the investigation into the case proceeds further and more information is uncovered, we’ll eventually learn which other officials or politicians have been involved in this scam. Till then, it’s better to not get ahead of ourselves.
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