MoS (Independent) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, spoke exclusively to Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in the latest edition of 'Nation Wants to Know', wherein he opened up on his government's stand on a number of matters.
One of the most important point, which has been a matter of debate ahead of the much-awaited Lok Sabha polls, has been about the AgustaWestland scam, and when will the agencies be able to extract answers from the middleman Christian Michel.
Col Rathore responded to this very question by stating that his government will follow all the rules and regulations, which would take time, while also taking a dig at the Congress for prioritizing Agusta over fighter aircrafts during their tenure.
"It does take time. Since we are not in a dictatorship, as the Congress would like people to believe, we follow the rules and law of the land. They have their own processes of finding out (truth). This is the question that the agencies are now trying to find out. Why was Agusta a priority, and not the fighter aircrafts at that point of time? They (UPA) chose to invest on Agusta and not fighter aircrafts. Why were they so interested in that? And why a middleman? We didn't have a middleman, they had a middleman. Now we have the middleman sitting here in the country. That and the National Herald case, there are many absolute, with evidence, allegations against them," he said.
He also took a moment to explain as to why Agusta was a scam, and not Rafale, and suggested that the facts, in the form of comments by prominent personalities, speak for themselves.
"In Rafale, the President of France has answered, the President of Dassault has answered and cleared everything. HAL has answered and cleared everything. Air Force's vice-chief has spoke about it and answered it. The Indian PM, Defence Minister and SC has spoken about it, yet Congress is speaking about it....Here (AgustaWestland) Christian Michel, the middleman is here, speaking in custody - not easy to get custody because of international rules and regulations. We got him here, he is speaking like a parrot now, who are the people he gave money to. Isn't that ironical that on one hand, so many people have answered it, and on the other hand, you have the middleman who is speaking," Col Rathore added.
(You can watch the full episode of Nation Wants to Know featuring I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore with Republic TV's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami at 9pm on Saturday and 11am, 7pm on Sunday)