CPI(M) Demands Scrapping of VVIP Chopper Deal
The CPI(M) today asked the Centre to scrap the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal and demanded a CBI probe under supervision of a Supreme Court judge.

"We demand from the government that the helicopter deal be cancelled and a CBI probe be conducted under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge," party general secretary Prakash Karat said while addressing a public meeting here.

Terming the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP as "equally corrupt" Karat alleged that both parties have set records in corruption.

"Many scams came to light recently including the 2G spectrum, coal block allocation and now this helicopter purchase deal with Italy.

"The CEO of the helicopter company was arrested and the government of Italy said, the company bribed Indian officials for selling helicopters. But, our government says it has no details of the case," he alleged.

Karat held the Congress as well as the BJP responsible for the scams and said that there was a need to bring a change in addressing the issues of farmers and 'aam admi'.

"There is no difference between the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and BJP governments in the states. They work in favour of capitalists, not in the interest of 'aam admi'.

"Parivartan (change) does not mean replacing the Congress with the BJP and vice-versa, but a political power which can change policies for the welfare of all. We are struggling for such alternative policies," he said.

The CPI(M) leader demanded a uniform Public Distribution System in which 35 kg of wheat at Rs 2 per kg is provided.

"The party is also demanding that the Food Security Bill be passed in the coming Budget Session," Karat said, demanding an end to the difference between APL and BPL ration cards.

Karat also slammed the UPA government for spiralling inflation and decontrolling of diesel price.

"Hike of 50 paise per litre in diesel prices every month will make diesel costlier by Rs 6 per litre in a year. It will have a direct impact on the prices of most essential commodities," he said.

Later, Karat told reporters that the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as AICC vice-president will not benefit the Congress.

"The move will not help the party because people vote on issues," he commented.

In Rajasthan, the CPI-M will contest over 35 seats in the ensuing Assembly polls, Karat added.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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