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Michel's statement to ED brought out truth about Congress, Gandhi family: Shah

twitter-logoPTI | December 31, 2018 | Updated 19:53 IST

New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) Targeting the Congress leadership, BJP chief Amit Shah Monday said AgustaWestland case accused Christian Michel's mention of "Mrs Gandhi" has brought the truth about the opposition party and the "Gandhi family" out before people. In a statement, Shah said the "friendship" between Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland deal, and the Congress' top leadership is "time tested and deep". He also asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to seek apology from the country for the AgustaWestland "scam", a reference to the alleged corruption in the purchase of VVIP choppers during the UPA government's tenure. The Congress has accused the BJP and the government of "manufacturing" lies in the AgustaWestland case, and said Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi never interfered in any defence deals during the UPA regime. "The government and the BJP are misusing agencies to manufacture lies. I am surprised to know that the present government is spreading trying to manufacture something out of nothing," former defence minister and senior Congress leader A K Antony said. Hitting back, Shah said it has become a habit of the Congress and its leaders to speak brazen lies to deny the truth. Leading the BJP's nation-wide campaign against the Congress, he tweeted, "Trails of the AgustaWestland Case…the SOS of Christian Michel. Does anyone know why Christian Michel passed on the details of questioning on Mrs Gandhi to his lawyer? Did he want them to be passed on to Mrs. Gandhi herself? Why?" It needs to be known what the relationship between Michel and Mrs Gandhi is, he said. Shah said Michel's lawyer had admitted that the alleged middleman indeed passed on a paper to him and claimed that he thought it was a list of medicines. The BJP president took an apparent swipe in a tweet at the Gandhi family, saying that people have heard of "Zandu balm and Tiger balm (medicines used to relieve pain) but what is this 'Family Balm' that every middleman wants". "In any case, what must be told again and again is the Congress background of Michel's lawyer. The so called expulsion remains a sham. He remains the conduit between Michel and Mrs Gandhi!" Shah said. The Congress had expelled Aljo K Joseph, an office bearer in its youth wing, after he appeared as a counsel for Michel. "In national interest, Michel's lawyer must tell us about the existence of documents of 2008, which make a reference to Mrs Gandhi. Evidently, the friendship between Michel and one family in India is time tested and deep," Shah further said. While on the one hand the Congress is working to save the likes of Michel, on the other, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is striving to save the money looted from the country, he claimed. A Delhi court had Saturday imposed restrictions on Michel, the alleged middleman in the purchase of VVIP choppers during the UPA's tenure, meeting his lawyers in the Enforcement Directorate's custody. The directions were given after the probe agency said he was misusing legal access by passing chits to the advocates asking them how to tackle questions on "Mrs Gandhi". The agency also claimed that he has spoken about the "son of an Italian lady" and taken "Mrs Gandhi's" name in reference to a query. The BJP has used this disclosure to attack the Congress, especially the Gandhi family. PTI KR IJT

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