‘Modi Must Answer on Rafale First’: Rahul Gandhi on AgustaWestland

As the Special CBI Court on Wednesday, 5 December, remanded alleged middleman Christian Michel to five-day custody in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said his party has made its position very clear in the matter at a press conference.

When asked about the AgustaWestland case in Hyderabad on Wednesday, the Congress president said:

"“Congress party has made its position very, very clear in this matter earlier in a press conference. The Prime Minister should explain why he gave Rs 30,000 crore on Rafale to Mr Anil Ambani.”" - Rahul Gandhi

Later on Wednesday, senior Congress leader Ahmel Patel said the law should take its own course in the Christian Michel case.

"Bohat achi baat hain kyunki doodh ka doodh, pani ka pani ho jayega (It’s good that everything has become clear now)," Patel said.

Also Read: AgustaWestland Case: CBI Gets 5-Day Custody of Christian Michel

PM Latching on to Michel for 'Smear Campaign' Against Opposition: Cong

Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress said the BJP and PM Narendra Modi were "latching" on to Christian Michel for a "smear campaign" against Opposition leaders.

Congress' spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a statement, alleged that facing "imminent defeat" in state polls, PM Modi and the BJP government were seeking to "weave a web of lies" and construct a "mesh of deception to hoodwink" the people of India in the chopper case.

In his rally in Rajasthan, Modi referred to the extradition of Michel saying, "The government has brought the middleman involved in a helicopter scam from Dubai. He served politicians and will now disclose secrets."

Surjewala accused the Modi government of indulging in a "cover up conspiracy" to hide its role in helping and promoting the "banned company" AgustaWestland and its parent company, Finmeccanica, reported PTI.

"“While the BJP and PM Modi are seeking fake credit without being subjected to investigation by the CBI for their own complicity and connivance, they are latching on to Christian Michel for committing a smear campaign against Opposition leaders. The truth qua Christian Michel is already out in the open.”" - Randeep Surjewala, as quoted by PTI

The ruling BJP had said on Tuesday, 4 December, that the extradition of Michel in the case is a diplomatic victory for India and could spell "serious trouble" for the Congress' "first family", referring to Gandhis.

Lawyer Representing Michel Sacked by Youth Congress

In the meantime, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) on Wednesday, 5 December, said it has expelled Aljo K Joseph, the lawyer representing Christian Michel, from the party and removed him from IYC's Legal Department with immediate effect.

"“Aljo K Joseph appeared (for Christian Michel’s hearing) in his personal capacity. He did not consult the Youth Congress before appearing in the case. IYC does NOT endorse such actions.”" - Amrish Ranjan Pandey, IYC National Spokesperson

Joseph, who represented Michel at the Patiala House Court on Wednesday, was the national in-charge of the legal department of IYC.

Speaking to the media before he was sacked, Joseph affirmed that he held the said post, but maintained that he appeared for his client in his professional capacity.

"“I’m an actively practicing advocate. I appeared for him (Christian Michel) in my professional capacity... I’ve only discharged my duty as a lawyer. It has nothing to do with Congress. My relation with Congress is separate and my profession is separate.”" - Aljo K Joseph, Christian Michel’s Lawyer

Joseph went on to say that he was just helping and assisting Christian Michel in the matter.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

Also Read: VVIP Chopper ‘Scam’: The Complete Lowdown on AgustaWestland Deal

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