While the Bofors scandal remains the by-word for corruption in high places in India, the AgustaWestland helicopter purchase is on the verge of overcoming Bofors in magnitude. Once again, it’s the Congress which is on the back foot but trying to brazen out the mounting evidence of kickbacks. Yesterday, the Rajya Sabha was continuously disrupted by Congress MPs vociferously levelling allegations against the BJP for an alleged case of graft in Gujarat. There was little substance in the Congress’s charges.
It was obvious that the sole purpose of the sloganeering on this issue was to prevent BJP members from raising the Agusta matter again. The nervousness of the principal opposition party has been apparent over the last few days, especially after Dr Subramanian Swamy was inducted as a BJP member. He caused an uproar on the very first day of his present term by wondering aloud whether Sonia Gandhi was a recipient of the Agusta largesse. Predictably, the Congress did not allow the House to run thereafter.