Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the extradition of alleged AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel to India at a campaign rally in Sumerpur in Rajasthan on Wednesday, saying he will spill the secrets of the politicians he had served, The Indian Express reported. Wednesday is the last day of campaigning for the Rajasthan Assembly elections, scheduled on December 7. The results will be out on December 11.
“We have caught the ‘raazdar’ [one who holds secrets] and the middleman in the helicopter scam and brought him here from Dubai,” Times Now quoted the prime minister as saying. “Now, he will spill secrets but we do not yet know what.”
The prime minister said his government looked for files related to the alleged scam in the AgustaWestland deal after coming to power in 2014, the Hindustan Times reported. “They had hidden it away,” he claimed. “But one middleman finally was caught after years of digging and findings. The VVIP chopper case accused will spill secrets of politicians he served.”
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government signed a contract with the British-Italian company in 2010 to buy 12 helicopters to transport VVIPs. However, the deal fell through following reports in Italy that the company had bribed Indian officials to get the deal. The Central Bureau of Investigation began its investigation into the case in 2013.
He said rules were not the same for them. “I emerged from the crowd, from poverty,” Modi said. “I was not born with a gold spoon in my mouth. If anyone who is responsible for India’s poverty, which followed for decades, then its the oldest political party of the country, the family [Gandhis].”
The prime minister challenged Congress President Rahul Gandhi, whom he referred to as “naamdar” or dynast, to speak to people without a piece of paper. “I challenge him to at least count the names of his own MPs without holding a piece of paper,” Modi added. “A person who can’t speak without holding sheets of paper, do you want to vote such a man to power?”
The prime minister also mentioned the Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday to allow the Income Tax department to investigate Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Modi said this was a big win for his government. “Now I will see how you escape...,” PTI quoted him as saying. “Look at the courage of a ‘chaiwala’ who took those running country for four generations to the court’s door.”