Congress demands CBI probe in Vasundhara Raje's '05 chopper deal

Jaipur: Former Union minister Sachin Pilot yesterday sought a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of an Agusta Westland helicopter by the Rajasthan government in 2005.

Vasundhara Raje
Vasundhara Raje

He said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report had alleged that misappropriation of public funds to the tune of R1.14 crore had taken place in the helicopter deal by the then Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in the state.

"It is not an allegation by Congress, but a report of CAG. We have just demanded an inquiry and clarification from the government but there is no reaction from them and the BJP state president is defending the government," he said.

Pilot alleged that the Raje government in 2008 had initiated a process to procure another helicopter at an inflated price of R59 crore. He said it should also be investigated that why the government agreed to pay the additional premium.

Reacting to the allegations, BJP state president Ashok Parnami claimed R1.14 crore was spent on chartered flights due to non-availability of pilots for the Agusta Westland helicopter from September 2005 to January 2006. He said the expenses were "unavoidable."

ED summons Tyagi
Enforcement Directorate summoned former IAF chief SP Tyagi in connection with its probe in the Agusta Westland chopper deal case. Official sources said the summons have been issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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