Questions Unanswered In Agusta Deal : Swaraj Abhiyan

By: Ash, 2016-05-14 13:45:00.0Category:  Issues & Concerns
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In a press conference held on Thursday, Swaraj Abhiyan had exposed a scam in the Chhatisgarh government in purchase of an Agusta Westland Helicopter, where it proved that the fraud resulted in a payment of USD 1.57 million (aprox 30% of the helicopter cost) as commission to Sharp Oceans Ltd., a shady dealer registered in the British Virgin Islands with an office in Hong Kong. Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav had also presented documents to prove that one "Abhishak Singh" opened an account through Quest Height Ltd, a company incorporated on 3rd July, 2008 in the same British Virgin Islands. This account with exactly the same address as in Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh's election affidavit, was opened within 6 months of the payments made to Sharp Ocean after a virtual single vendor sham tender was issued by Chhattisgarh government.

Swaraj Abhiyan had demanded that a fair investigation in the helicopter purchase be instituted by a retired supreme court judge. The Abhiyan had also asked the chief minister and his son to come clean on the issue.

Unfortunately, instead of responding to the questions raised, the Chief Minister claimed that the charges made by Swaraj Abhiyan are "baseless and politically motivated" and that there was "no irregularity in the helicopter deal which was done with full transparency." The CM could not utter anything convincing in his defense. The MP from Rajnandgaon and son of the Chhattisgarh CM, Abhishek Singh claimed that he had no off-shore accounts without answering how his address was being used for a shady account in a tax haven.

Swaraj Abhiyan is shocked at this casual response on a serious charge of corruption, which were backed by relevant documents. Unfortunately, even after 48 hours of the expose, there is neither a solid defense from the Chhattisgarh government nor any order of investigation by the Bhartiya Janta Party ruled union government. Ironically, the same Abhishek Singh - as per his own Facebook post of May 11 - has been nominated as a member of the newly reconstituted Public Accounts Committee at the centre.

Swaraj Abhiyan would thus ask the following questions on behalf of the citizens of this country:

1. Who is this "Abhishak Singh" who opened an account in British Virginia Islands with the exact details of address as mentioned in the election affidavit of Dr. Raman Singh? If it is not the account of his son Mr. Abhishek Singh, why is he not worried that someone is using his credentials to operate an off-shore account in a tax haven?

3. Why so much of unreasonable interest in purchasing specifically the Agusta Westland 109 chopper even when there were 10 other manufacturers with helicopters of the same technical specifications and lower price?

2. Why was due process not followed during the purchase deal of helicopter?

4. How did the OSS, the service provider of Agusta Westland helicopters know about the confidential note and arranged a meeting with state government officials even before the cabinet order?
Swaraj Abhiyan demands answer to these specific questions and hopes that the concerned individuals would not evade.

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