PM latching on to Michel for 'smear campaign' against opposition leaders: Congress

The Congress said the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were "latching" on to Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal who was extradited to India from Dubai, for a "smear campaign" against opposition leaders.

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a statement, alleged that facing "imminent defeat" in state polls, Prime Minister Modi and the BJP government were seeking to "weave a web of lies" and construct a "mesh of deception to hoodwink" the people of India in the chopper case.

Michel, the alleged middleman in politically-sensitive Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal, was brought to India late on Tuesday night following his extradition by the UAE.

In his rally in Rajasthan on the last day of campaigning before the state elections on Friday, Modi referred to the extradition of Michel saying, "The government has brought the middleman involved in a helicopter scam from Dubai. He served politicians and will now disclose secrets."

Surjewala accused the Modi government of indulging in a "cover up conspiracy" to hide its role in helping and promoting the "banned company" AgustaWestland and its parent company, Finmeccanica.

(Agencies)