Advani attacks Congress on Quattrocchi issue

QuattrocchiAhmedabad, Apr 28 : Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani on Tuesday attacked the Congress party for being the leading force behind the Central Bureau of Investigation''s decision to remove the name of the lone surviving suspect in the Bofors payoff case Ottavio Quattrocchi from the Interpol''s list of most wanted persons.

Accusing the Congress for being desperate at a time when its five-year term at the Centre is almost over, Advani told a news conference here, "They are not going to come to power. Else, they would have waited for elections to get over and then take this step."

He also went ahead to say that he holds both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi "guilty" for the removal of Interpol Red Corner Notice
(RCN) against the Italian businessman.

"If this news is true, then I consider both the Prime Minister and Congress president guilty," said Advani referring to the clean chit given to Quattrocchi.

Describing the decision as the "last nail in the coffin of the judicial process in respect of the Bofors scandal", Advani promised he would initiate an inquiry on the Quattrocchi issue, if the BJP is voted to power.

Advani recollected that the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who had achieved an "unprecedented majority in 1984" had lost the 1989 general elections due to his alleged involvement in the corruption scandal.

The BJP leader claimed that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had "allowed Quattrocchi''s account in a London bank to be de-freezed so that he could withdraw his money".

Advani further said that Narasimha Rao government had also been easy on Quattrocchi by giving him the chance to go out of the country.

"During the Rao Government Quattrocchi, who was considered close to Sonia Gandhi, was given the opportunity to go out of the country," he said.

Advani maintained his views on the CBI and said that the agency, during the past five years of the UPA rule has been "misused" for the advantage of the alliance.

The Bofors scandal was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s, when the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India''s 155 mm field howitzer.

The scandal was worth Rs. 150 billion. (ANI)

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