Laughable allegations, 'jumlas' raining this election season, says Ahmed Patel
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Friday hit out at the Modi government over the Enforcement Directorate charge sheet in the controversial Agusta Westland chopper case and said "baseless and laughable" allegations and "jumlas" are raining this election season.
Taking to Twitter, Patel, without directly referring to any charges against him, said he has full faith in the judiciary and the truth shall prevail.
"A thief sees a thief in everyone," he said in an apparent swipe at the prime minister.
The Rajya Sabha MP said it seems the probe agency has become an "important part" of the NDA alliance.
The ED, in the supplementary charge sheet filed before a court on Thursday, said Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the case, has identified the initials "AP", mentioned in a "budget sheet", as Ahmed Patel.
The budget sheet contains the details of payments made to various people, including politicians, in connection with the deal.
The identity of the said Ahmed Patel is not clear.
On Friday, a day after the ED filed the charge sheet, the Congress leader said "such antics" would not work as the public is demanding answers to unemployment, farm distress and sagging economy.
And, he said, these issues reflected the "defeat of Modi government".
"In this election season, it is pouring 'jumlas' (rhetoric). Baseless and laughable charges are raining.
"We have full faith in the judiciary and the truth can never be hidden and shall prevail. It looks like that the ED has become an important part of the NDA," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
"The chowkidar and his cronies have targeted the wrong place without evidence. The 'dalals' (middlemen) of Noteban and Rafale cannot escape now. The people will teach them a lesson. But, you must have heard the saying that a thief sees a thief in everyone," Patel also said.
Patel, who hails from Gujarat, has been former Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political adviser and is currently the Congress treasurer.
Meanwhile, journalist Shekhar Gupta whose name also features in the chargesheet called it "laughable and utterly preposterous". "The claim in the Enforcement Directorate chargesheet against Christian Michel, a key suspect in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal scam, that Michel had admitted to hiring the services of a person named Guy Douglas to influence Shekhar Gupta to tone down an article in The Indian Express, is 100% untruth," he said.
"The truth is the exact opposite. The Indian Express, under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, broke the story first, was at the forefront of the media investigation into the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal scam and was widely commended for its coverage," he added. "The timing of the lie by an alleged middleman, extradited into the custody of government agencies as an eventual outcome of the media investigation, raises deep suspicions about its motive."
Another journalist named in the chargesheet, Manu Pubby said his reports between 2012-'14 are the "backbone of the CBI/ED chargesheet in the Agusta case". The Enforcement Directorate in its chargesheet mentioned that Michel said Pubby "toned down" his articles on the case. With Agenciy inputs