BJP links Rahul Gandhi’s close aide to AugustaWestland scam; happy to be targeted, says Cong VP

New Delhi, May 3:  As the Bharatiya Janata Party trained its gun on Rahul Gandhi linking one of his close aides to the Agusta Westland scam in parliament, the Congress vice president on Tuesday said he is happy to be targeted.

“I am always being targeted, happy to be targeted,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has said that Rahul Gandhi owes an explanation in the AgustaWestland scam as his  top advisor, Kanishk Singh is linked to a middleman who paid bribes in exchange for Agusta, an Anglo-Italian firm, to be chosen as the supplier of 12 helicopters to India for VVIPs use. The deal was cancelled in 2014 after Italian investigations uncovered details of kickbacks.

The middleman Kanishk Singh was associated with was Guido Ralph Haschke, he alleged.

“It cannot be a coincidence that Guido Haschke, an alleged middleman in the chopper deal, is common in both the scams and that he is linked with Christian Michel, an accused in the VVIP chopper scam,” the BJP leader was quoted to have said in a report.

Last week, an Italian court ruled that bribes of 30 million Euros had been paid in India, catapulting the Agusta scam to the top of the political agenda.

“The Gandhi parivaar must explain,”  Somiaya said on Monday night and claimed that there is evidence that directly links both mother and son to the corruption in the 3,600-crore chopper deal.

“Will Rahul Gandhi deny that he and Kanishk Singh have a close relation, and Kanishk’s family is the founder of Emaar-MGF? Will Rahul Gandhi respond how and why Mr Haschke was a Director in the company?”  he said.

However, Kanishk Singh, who is director of Emaar-MGF.  on Tuesday rubbished  the allegations, saying all are “baseless and false.”

In a statement, Kanishk said, “Somaiya’s allegations about me are entirely baseless, false and with an ulterior political motive. Somaiya has been making these false allegations about me with malafide intent since February 2013.”

Kanishk demanded that Somaiya should provide proof at the earliest which would facilitate a proper investigation and prosecution of the guilty.