Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy petitioned to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probing into the role of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the controversial purchases of aircraft for Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines. In his letter, Swamy produced the minutes of EGoM (Empowered Group of Ministers) headed by Chidambaram approving all the dubious purchases. Swamy demanded that the recently initiated CBI probe in this regard should note the role of Chidambaram in the aircraft purchases that led to huge kickbacks.
Every purchase of allied equipment and Aircraft from Boeing and Airbus was approved by the then Finance Minister Chidambaram.
“It is quite clear from perusing these extracts that the purchased aircraft was approved by EGoM headed by Chidambaram as the Finance Minister. The extract as you can see is signed by Chidambaram, and according to Chidambaram, the Ministry of Civil Aviation was authorised to direct Air India to place orders with Boeing and General Electric (GE) accordingly and the Indian Airlines directed to purchase the Airbus,” said Swamy producing the minutes of Minutes of EGoMs in 2005.
The EGoM’s minutes published below this article show that every controversial purchase amounting to billions of dollars was approved by Chidambaram and he had put his signature everywhere. Every purchase of allied equipment and Aircraft from Boeing and Airbus was approved by the then Finance Minister Chidambaram.
“Hence Chidambaram ought to be the principal accused in your investigation into the aircraft purchase scam. Other members of the EGoM may be questioned about the stand they took in the EGoM but as far as Chidambaram is concerned, his culpability is crystal clear,” said Swamy arguing for interrogation of his arch rival Chidambaram.
Then Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had recently said that he had executed all deals as per the directions of the EGoM, which was cleared by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Swamy’s letter to CBI and attached Minutes of the EGoMs, approving the controversial aircraft purchase is published below: