1. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the names of those who have taken bribes in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP AgustaWestland chopper deal must come to light. "Serious allegations have been made against the Congress president in the chopper deal. It has to come to light who has taken the money," he said at an election meeting in Bishnupur in West Bengal.
Accusing the previous Congress-led government at the centre of indulging in corruption, he said: "2G, 3G, helicopter. There were scams one after another during the Congress regime."
2. BJP chief Amit Shah also launched a sharp attack on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over the chopper scam and asked her to name those who received the "kickbacks". "All I want to ask her is that those who gave bribe are in jail in Italy, then where are those who received the kickbacks? Who were in power at that time? They are responsible and they should bring out the truth. It should be disclosed before the people of the country," he said.
Taking a jibe at Gandhi over her remarks on Wednesday that she does not fear anybody, Shah said she is "right" and that is why such "scams" keep coming out in the open.
3. Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, one of those whose names is believed to have been mentioned in the Italian High Court judgement in the case, said "there is no question of bribe taking by the political leadership of the Congress Party and allegations against them are baseless".
4. Noting that the core issue in the chopper scam was corruption, the Defence Ministry said the government will leave no stone unturned in pursuing all means to bring to justice the corrupt and the wrong-doers in this case.
Refuting the Congress claims that the Anglo-Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland was blacklisted by the UPA government, it said it was the NDA, on July 3, 2014, that had actually put on hold all procurement and acquisition cases in the pipeline of six companies involved in the VVIP chopper scam.
5. India has approached the British government for extradition of Christian Michel, the middleman named by Italian investigators as a key intermediary in swinging the controversial deal for AgustaWestland choppers.