Recently BJP has released a loose cannon in the Rajya Sabha to pour hateful and vindictive rubbish. Except that the Rajya Sabha is not Twitter where you can have loads of uncouth, vile, rabid or paid followers. All that this loose cannon has been able to do is to embroil Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Brajesh Mishra and George Fernandes in the Augusta scam, ably assisted by the most confused Defence Minister that India has ever had – the former Goa CM, Manohar Parrikar.
The said Motor Mouth thundered that the Helicopter was tested in Italy which was ‘seriously’ against the guidelines. It sounded like a “nailer” except that it was diametrically opposite to the truth. It was the NDA government that had changed the rules to allow for testing of defence equipment within or outside the country, depending on the feasibility of the same. As such, when the UPA 1 government came to power, the rules alllowed that defence equipment could be tested anywhere and the Augusta Helicopter was tested in United Kingdom quite a few hundred miles from Italy.
The Twitter master of hate even cracked a joke that Ghulam Nabi Azad, a fairly tall man, must have been a factor for increasing the cabin height from 1.43m to 1.80m. That too turned out to be a lie like most of what is uttered by this newly nominated MP. If at all it was wrong to increase the height of the copter, it was former NSA Brajesh Mishra, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and George Fernandes who must be hauled up by the investigating agencies since they were the ones who made that change, and not Ms. Gandhi with an invisible hand.
But then, egged on by the new MP, the Defence Minister of India also wanted to know why the UPA government with Ms. Gandhi as patron reduced the altitude requirement from 6000m to 4500m. The minister could have done with a little research before opening his mouth in the August House.
BJP wants the country to believe that because “Signora Gandhi” will fly in a chopper means she will also take kickbacks. However, they want us to believe that Rajasthan and Chattisgarh governments cleared Augusta deals without kickbacks.
AP to BJP means Ahmed Patel but sadly to the rest of the country it is more likely to mean Anandi Patel, one time lieutenant of PM Modi and now CM of Gujarat. There are plenty of photos to suggest Mr. Modi flew in Augusta Westland Helicopter a lot, so going by the BJP’s own logic, the Congress has clinching evidence establishing a connection between Mr. Modi and AW.
There are rumors including one media report suggesting Mr. Modi met Italian PM and a deal was struck where Mr. Modi released the Italian Marines by weakening the case against them and have the Italian agencies somehow name Ms. Sonia Gandhi at least once in their investigation reports. With the Italian Marines already off the hook because of poor handling by the Modi Government of the case at the UN Tribunal, the BJP could be inviting more trouble.
Prudent advise at this moment to the Modi Government is that they go after Augusta Westland instead of political opponents, otherwise NDA 1 will be in deep trouble for the small ‘adjustments’ they made for Augusta and the blacklisting which the present government removed even after the kickback episode to have AW participate in their much touted “Make in India” initiative.