New Delhi: The VVIP choppers deal case has once again led to a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted at Ahmed Patel's involvement in the scam, the senior Congress leader hit back, saying that every thief feels that others are also criminals. He also wondered is the Enforcement Directorate had now joined the National Democratic Alliance.
"It's the election season and hence accusations are raining. The chowkidar (watchman) and his disciples have entered a wrong arena without any evidence. The days of Rafale and demonetisation brokers are numbered. The voters will teach them a lesson," Patel warned, adding that he wondered if the ED had now become a part of the NDA.
The Congress has alleged that the agency chargesheet was deliberately leaked to the media as a "cheap election stunt". "A single uncertified page leaked by ED of a purported charge sheet is a cheap election stunt to divert attention from imminent defeat of Modi government. The ED has become 'Election Dhakosla' of a government manufacturing a lie a day," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland scam, is understood to have identified the initials "AP" as Ahmed Patel in a chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before a court.
Reacting to the latest controversy, Patel said that for "a thief, every person is a thief". Rubbishing the allegations as ridiculous, he added, "Your (BJP) tricks to fool people will no longer work. You need to address real issues like unemployment and farmer distress."
Meanwhile, Michel filed a supplementary charge sheet after the reports appeared that ED in its charge sheet has named politicians of the previous UPA dispensation, defence personnel, bureaucrats and journalists as the beneficiaries of the controversial defence deal.
"Michel has not named anyone in his statement before the agency which is being leaked to media. This is only to make the matter sensational and prejudice the case against my client," his counsel, Aljo K Joseph said.