New Delhi, Feb 13: Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy on Wednesday rubbished allegations of the PMO’s involvement in the controversial Augusta Westland deal for 12 VVIP choppers.
According to some media reports, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has said that these helicopters were not meant for defence purposes, and the selection process for such aircrafts was handled by the PMO and the Special Protection Group (SPG).
“I would like to make it very clear that PMO will not be involved in any purchase. Please don’t jump to nay conclusion and wait for the CBI inquiry report into the matter,” said Narayanasamy to reports, reacting to the recent controversy over the deal.
“As soon as the information came that Government of Italy has taken action in the case, the Defence Minister immediately ordered a CBI probe into the deal. Now, the CBI is going to investigate the matter, let us wait for their report,” he added.
When asked why the government didn’t order an inquiry earlier, Narayanasamy said: “Any inquiry can’t be ordered unless and until the government has some proof.”
The arrest of Italian company chief in Milan prompted the government in India to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.
Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi, who was arrested on Tuesday in Rome, had been under investigation for months and had denied any wrongdoing in the deal for the sale of 12 Augusta Westland helicopters to India in 2010.
The said contract was signed in Feb uary 2010 for the purchase of 12 helicopters. In view of media reports, the Ministry of Defence through the Ministry of External Affairs had sought information from the Governments of Italy and UK. No specific inputs were, however, received substantiating the allegations. (ANI)