BJP slams CBI stance in Bofors case

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday said that the CBI had “shamelessly” favoured withdrawal of the case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi despite an income tax tribunals order that kickbacks were paid in the Bofors gun deal and charged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of not being serious in tackling corruption.

BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had “crossed limits of shamelessness” by sticking to its stand of closing the payoff case against Quattrocchi.

Instead of opening its eyes to the case, it (CBI) has deliberately rejected the tribunal order by insisting that there is nothing new… This is not hidden from people that Quattrocchi has close connections with the Gandhi family, Hussain said.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) had ruled Dec 31 that Quattrocchi and his associate Win Chadha, who is now dead, received a commission of over Rs.412 million in the Rs.15 billion howitzer gun deal in 1987.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should act on cases of corruption rather than merely talk about the governments intentions for fighting graft.

Earlier, senior party leader Arun Jaitley said after the core committee meeting held Wednesday morning that the party will raise the pitch against corruption in government in the wake of the Income Tax tribunal’s decision.

“After the recent revelations by the Income Tax tribunal, the prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are answerable to the nation. The party will intensify its agitation against the government on corruption,” he said.

Referring to Quattrocchi, Jaitley said the tribunal’s decision had revealed that those close to the top Congress leadership had received kickbacks.

“If the Congress leadership had no relationship with those who received kickbacks in the Bofors (gun deal), it would have welcomed the decision, he said.

Jaitley said if the Congress had any honesty, it should welcome the tribunal decision as it would bring more revenue for the government.

He said that a special resolution will be passed at the partys national executive meeting in Guwahati later this week on corruption in the present UPA government.

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