Ramping up the attack against the Gandhi family on AgustaWestland issue, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said the government will not hesitate to take action against them if they are proven guilty, asserting no one is above law, whether ‘first or the last family’.
He also took a dig at Arvind Kejriwal for his remarks that the Modi government does not have ‘enough courage’ to arrest Sonia Gandhi, saying the Delhi chief minister was feeling left out because he did not get any media publicity for the last 10 ten days when the focus was on the VVIP chopper scam.
“I feel no one is above the law. So whether it is the last family or the first, I don’t see any reason why anyone should be given a differential treatment, provided you have proper legal evidence,” Parrikar said.
He was replying to a query on whether the government could take on the Gandhi family, which is often referred to as the first family of Indian politics.
The minister, while referring to his statement in the Lok Sabha in which he hoped to do what could not be done in the Bofors case, said, “We have the intention and seriousness and I will ensure that proper and good attempts are made. So there is every possibility we may be able to (do).”
While the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s name had cropped up in the Bofors’ scandal of 1989, subsequent investigations had failed to authentically pinpoint any links.
Parrikar had said former Air chief S P Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan are ‘small people’ who ‘simply washed their hands in a flowing ganga (of corruption)’ and that the government will ‘find out where the river was going’.
Parrikar trashed Kejriwal’s outburst that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not have ‘enough courage’ to arrest Sonia Gandhi and that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have an ‘alliance in corruption’.
“It is just a publicity stunt. Kejriwal was jumping to the fray to get attention. For the last 10 days, picture of Prime Minister Modi, Sonia Gandhi for wrong reasons, and at times mine were appearing in the media. To stay dry without publicity for ten days is a big thing for him (Kejriwal),” Parrikar added.
Kejriwal had alleged, “The Italian Court order also has names of Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, certain officers and Congressmen, but Modi is not able to gather enough courage to arrest Sonia Gandhi, to ask her even two questions, to interrogate her.”