BJP today hit out at Sonia Gandhi over claims that an alleged middlemen in the VVIP chopper scam had asked a contact in India to "target" the Congress chief and her advisors to clinch the deal, saying it was a repeat of the Bofors scam and the issue will be raised in parliament.
"Money was transacted. There are ample evidence to suggest who the receipients were. We raise it in Parliament most certainly," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.
The government, he said, will not be allowed to get away with any explanation. "It is a repeat of Bofors deal," he alleged.
According to a document submitted in Italian court, one of the alleged middlemen in the VVIP chopper scam had asked a contact in India to target Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then NSA MK Narayanan to bag the deal.
It has come to light that Christian Michel-- alleged to be the main middleman involved in the chopper scam -- had sent a fax to one of his contacts, who was allegedly working with AgustaWestland's India office, in this regard, official sources said quoting the document recovered by Italian police authorities and produced before the court there in early January.
Michel is said to have asked his contact named Peter Fullet to target Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, Veerappa Moily, Oscar Fernandes, M K Narayanan and one Vinay Singh for bagging the deal.
In the document, the middleman has asked his contact to direct the High Commissioner of his native country to target "Sonia Gandhi and her closest advisers", they said.
He also said that Gandhi would not be flying anymore in the Mi-8 choppers and "she was the driving force behind the VIP", without elaborating, according to the sources.
The note has been shared by the Italian authorities with their Indian counterparts.
Another note had emerged earlier which seemed to be a draft budget which suggested that another middleman Guido Haschke had allocated on paper funds to be given to people with initials AP, JS Air and FAM.
India has already scrapped the tender and has sought to levy penalties and damages worth more than Rs 5,200 crore. The IAF is now preparing to prepare its other aircraft to meet the requirements of VVIP flying.