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Another Congress Era scam unearthed! ED set to summon bunch of UPA Ministers in Rs 8,000 crore Indian Airlines deal

It seems the time ahead for Congress party is not going to be easy. With back to back setbacks Congress party is witnessing the heat under PM Modi Government. The party was not yet out of hangover of Christian Michel extradition & PM Modi’s power punches that it has been hit with another stroke.

In a recent development it has come to surface that soon some of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders are going to come under the scanner of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged scam involving a purchase contract of Airbus aircraft for Air India

According to reports some of the senior leaders of UPA are involved in the scam over the purchase of 43 aircraft by Air India from French aerospace giant Airbus. During the investigation, ED found out that Airbus did not deliver on some of its contract obligations. While the 43 aircraft were delivered to Air India, Airbus did not open the Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) and training centre as mandated by the contract, and got an undue benefit of $175 million

The deal had been finalised in September 2005, under the UPA-I regime, when an Empowered Group of Ministers which included then (Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and HR Bharadwaj) had given its nod after Airbus agreed to set-up the facilities along with the supply of 43 A320 family aircraft to Indian Airlines, which merged with Air India in 2007. But it came to limelight in 2010 that clauses governing the setting up of an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) unit, training centre and a warehouse by Airbus were allegedly diluted by some officials to favour the French aviation firm.

It was at that time The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had started probing the deal. Then, in 2013, the investigative agency had registered a case for alleged irregularities in the deal and had subsequently booked Airbus Industries and seven officials, who had held senior positions in the Indian Airlines. Officials including deputy managing director, director (planning), director (finance), functional director (engineering), general manager (engineering) and two deputy general managers had reportedly been made accused in the case. Airbus had then denied charges of any irregularity.

A year later, CBI personnel had even flown to London to question Rao, former president of Airbus India, about the deal but had not made any allegations of kickbacks or money laundering against him.

However in October, it was reported that ED had slapped Airbus executive vice-president Kiran Rao and six others accused in the deal with legal notices under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).Although names of the ministers to be summoned by ED have not been disclosed yet but it is confirmed that soon the UPA minister related with the deal be under interrogation.

This week has been a roller coaster ride for Congress. Firstly Supreme Court gave permission to Central Government to reassess the tax details of Congress President Rahul Gandhi & his mother Sonia Gandhi in National Herald Case. Secondly Christian Michel, middlemen related to Augusta Westland scam extradited to India. Thirdly, PM Modi’s brutal attack at Congress and last but not the least former Coal Secretary under UPA HC Gupta sentenced to imprisonment in Coal block allocation matter

As I said, last but not the least, the game has just begun.Back to Back Congress scams will be unravelled now and Congress will be punished leaving no room to escape.


Source: Business Today


Niharika

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