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BJP, Cong hold meetings for strategies on Agusta payoffs

Wed, May 04, 2016, 11:27 AM
There are certainly going to be fireworks in Parliament on Wednesday, as both the BJP and the Congress firmed up their strategies how to defeat the other in the debate over the AgustaWestland payoffs.

The Prime Minister's meeting with his close aides, including Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley, was underway in the morning.

At the same time, the Congress led by president Sonia Gandhi called for a meeting with the party MPs in the Rajya Sabha how to deal with the fallout arising from the clear payoffs to the top Congress leadership in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal.

Those named as recipients of the payoffs include Signora Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Defence Minister AK Antony and her private secretary, Ahmed Patel.

So far the Congress had been beating round the bush by raising non-issues so the taint is not stuck to it.

Dr Subramaniam Swamy started the big fight on the Agusta deal on the day he resumed Rajya Sabha membership by naming Sonia Gandhi as one of the recipients in the deal. This led to the Congress protest which did not allow the proceedings to continue in the House.

The Congress strategy has been technical in that the name of a member of the other House (Lok Sabha) cannot be taken in the other House. The House has to debate whether the rule extends to cases such as Sonia Gandhi's, who has clearly been named as the recipient bar the shouting.
Agency: Ap7am Desk
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