The Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will make a statement on the AgustaWestland chopper deal in the Rajya Sabha today.

 

That would be followed by a short duration debate on the controversial issue at around 2pm.

 

Ahead of today's session, it was reported that senior Congress leaders met party President Sonia Gandhi yesterday to strategise to counter the BJP during the discussion.

 

According to a report, BJP sources have added that the Raksha minister is likely to make new facts, which has not been discussed so far in public domain. There are speculations that names of some Congress leaders might be mentioned in the statement.


The BJP is likely to make use of Gandhi-baiter, newly joined RS member Subramanian Swamy. Bhupendra Yadav is also likely to speak for BJP during the debate. Swamy has already created uproar in the RS targeting Sonia Gandhi.

 

 From the Congress, former Defence Minister AK Antony, Abhishek Singhvi and Anand Sharma are likely to speak.

 

The Agusta VVIP chopper deal was signed in 2010 when the UPA was in power. The deal was scrapped in 2014 following reports of wrongdoing cropped up.



Names of senior Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, appeared in the papers used by an Italian court which delivered a conclusive judgement on the bribery scandal related to AgustaWestland deal for 12 helicopters.



Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s name was also dragged into this controversy as one of the middlemen in Agusta deal Guido Haschke, served as a Director in 2009 in Emaar-MGF real estate firm, which is promoted by Kanishka Singh, Gandhi's close aide.