Congress supporting Quattrocchi and Afzal: BJP

May 3rd, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) Attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his statement that the case involving Bofors payoff suspect Ottavio Quattrochi was an “embarrassment” to the government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday said it proved that withdrawal of the Interpol lookout notice for the Italian businessman was a “political decision” of the UPA government.
It also said that the UPA government wanted to “save” Afzal Guru, sentenced to death for the 2001 attack on Parliament House, for the sake of “vote bank” politics.

“The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) wants to save Afzal for vote bank politics and Quattrochi for his connection with the first family of the Congress. Both these decisions have once again proved that ‘Congress Ka Hath Quattrochi Aur Afzal Ke Saath’ (The Congress’ hand - party symbol - is with Quattrochi and Afzal),” said a statement issued by BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

A decision on Afzal’s execution is pending as the mercy petition filed by his family has not been accepted or rejected as yet.

“The BJP deplores the absurd logic of PM Manmohan Singh that India would have been looked down upon by the world community if the Red Corner Notice against Quattrochi was not removed,” the statement added.

In an interview to a news channel, the prime minister had said: “The Quattrochi case is an embarrassment for the government of India. We have tried to extradite him from Malaysia. We have tried to extradite him from Argentina. We have failed. The court says we do not have a strong case.”

“It’s not a good reflection on the Indian legal system that we harass people while the world says we have no case. The Interpol had asked the government of India that why do you want to treat him under the Red Corner notice,” Manmohan Singh added.

Italian businessman Quattrochi is a suspect in the Bofors gun purchase payoff scandal of the late 1980s.

The BJP spokesperson said this was a “futile attempt to defend the indefensible act” of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) withdrawing the lookout notice.

“This also proves that withdrawal of Red Corner Notice against Quattrochi is not a CBI decision but a political decision of the UPA government. Instead of proceeding with the investigations, the UPA government offered Quattrochi a parting gift,” the statement said.

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