Chopper scam: BJP leader Kirit Somaiya writes to CBI, seeks probe against Rahul Gandhi’s key aide
HEADLINES TODAY BUREAU | New Delhi, February 15, 2013 | 16:43
The BJP on Friday dragged Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s key aide Kanishka Singh in the VIP chopper deal controversy, alleging that he played a key role in Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland winning the contract.
BJP national secretary Kirit Somaiya has written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director stating that there were “prominent signs of Indian connection in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, very similar to Bofors scam”.
Citing a report of Italian newspaper Lettera 43, Somaiya wrote: “The main commission agent Christian Michel’s late father was ‘close to the Congress party’ and the other middleman, Guido Ralph Haschke, was a director of Emaar-MGF.”
Emaar MGF is a real estate company, owned by late Ved Prakash Gupta with late S.K. Singh — father of Kanishka Singh — being one of the promoters and shareholders of the company. Somaiya said Kanishka Singh is close to Rahul Gandhi and has served as his political secretary.
“It is believed that British citizen Michel, had received 60 per cent (around Rs 210 crore) of the kickback amount of â‚¬51 million (around Rs 360 crore) from Finmeccanica, the manufactures of AgustaWestland choppers. His contacts are stronger especially with the Indian defence that he has inherited from his father, Wolfgang Max Michel Richard, a British businessman who was very active in India between 80s and 90s and was close to the Congress party,” Somaiya claimed.
He further wrote: “According to the prospectus filed by Emmar MGF with SEBI, Haschke was director (in Emaar MGF) in September 2009. But in December 2009, he resigned after the Commonwealth Games scandal exploded and it was proved that the Emmar MGF had been favoured due to its link with Kanishka Singh. Haschke confessed to the Italian court on his connections with former air chief S.P. Tyagi was the director of Emmar MGF, the firm which bagged the biggest deal in connection with Commonwealth Games.”
“There is a need to investigate the involvement of Mr Kanishka Singh, Emaar MGF and Haschke in the helicopter scam,” Somaiya insisted.