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No foot dragging on chopper deal: Tewari



New Delhi, Feb 14: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Thursday slammed the BJP for comparing the VVIP chopper deal with the Bofors scam, and said the government has not been hesitant in taking action.

"The chopper deal process was initiated during the NDA government and culminated under the UPA government. Certain issues have come out about the deal. The government has addressed them by ordering a CBI inquiry," Tewari told journalists at the Indian Women’s Press Corps.

"There has been no foot dragging on the issue," he said.

The minister also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for comparing the deal with the Bofors scam.

"It’s extremely dangerous to draw parallel to some other investigation. In February 2004, the court quashed Bofors charges (but) the BJP-led government at that time did not even file a petition challenging it. Rather than being sensational, let the investigation play it out," he said.

BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad Wednesday said the chopper deal was a "Bofors in making".

The defence ministry has ordered a CBI probe into the $750 million deal for 12 VVIP AgustaWestland helicopters, following the arrest in Italy of its manufacturer Finmeccanica’s chief on charges of graft in the contract.

In the Bofors scam that broke out in the late 1980s, several Congress leaders were accused of receiving kickbacks from Swedish firm Bofors AB for a bid to supply India 155-mm field howitzers.


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