Former Congress leader, Dr. H Hanumanthappa has claimed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pratibha Patil, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Defence Minister AK Antony were aware of the Tatra-Bharat Earth Movers Limited deal. Hanumanthappa, has said that he had written a letter in detail to Ghulam Nabi Azad, requesting him to forward the same to the Prime Minster and Sonia Gandhi.
“I met Sonia Gandhi and Defence minister Antony personally to hand over the complaint and they told me that necessary action will be taken. However, until today, I have not received any response on what happened to my complaint. , ” said the ex- Congress MP, adding that Defense Minister AK Antony is an honest man.
News daily DNA has cited a detailed report on the matter. Dr D Hanumanthappa made a report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi about VRS Natarajan, CMD of BEML placing an order of Rs 6,000 crores for Tatra trucks from Vecrta. This happens to be a clear violation of the defence procurement guidelines. The letter written by Hanumanthappa enclosed a detailed submission from SN Ashok SN, Asst. GM of BEML’s ‘Trucks Division’.
“I wrote several letters after that, also specifically mentioning about the Tatra truck scam, but these leaders did not respond,” said Dr Hanumanthappa. He also added that Minister for Law Veerappa Moily was also apprised of the scam. In a reply to the letter sent by Hanumanthappa, Moily said, “I am taking up the matter with the ministry concerned “. However, the ex-Congress MP stated that even Moily did not keep his word.
Defence Ministry released a statement, stating that AK Antony had sought an enquiry by the Secretary of Defence Production to probe into the issues raised in the letter, in 2009.
“A day after receiving a letter from Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, on 05 Oct 2009, forwarding the complaints of Dr. D Hanumanthappa, addressed to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi on BEML, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony had asked the Secretary (Defence Production) to look into the various issues raised in the complaint. Records show that the vigilance wings of MoD and BEML are examining the matter and there are also correspondence between the CBI and Chief Vigilance Officer of BEML on these allegations. Meanwhile, the Defence Minister has accorded his sanction for a CBI investigation on 21 Feb 2012 in another case relating to BEML, much before a newspaper report was published on 26 Mar 2012,” says the statement released by Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar.
Hanumanthappa, who is the President of All India Federation of SC /ST /Backward Class and Minority Employees Welfare Association, Karnataka, said that the letter he wrote exposed in length, the details of the deal. The Tatra- BEML deal is now being investigated by the CBI. The information was sent to the top Congress brass by Hanumanthappa as he felt that it was his duty to save democracy and strengthen the nation’s defence forces.
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