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Posted on Feb 19, 06:50PM | IANS
New Delhi, Feb 19 : Let the defence ministry take a decision on the AgustaWestland chopper deal, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Tuesday, adding that the government "must not be pressured by anything".
"I have not expressed any reservation at all. I only said what sounds sensible that decision has to be a collective decision of the government led by the ministry of defence," Khurshid told reporters here, clarifying reports of him opposing scrapping of the deal.
"Let them (defence ministry) take a decision and obviously we must not be pressured by anything. We have nothing to hide it's an outrightly, objective procedure that has been followed and keeping in mind ministry of defence will recommend what it thinks is appropriate," he said.
He denied that the defence ministry is taking a decision in haste and said they are the nodal ministry and have the domain knowledge.
The defence ministry had last week initiated action for cancellation of the chopper contract after revelation of alleged kickbacks in the $750mn (Rs.3,600 crore) chopper deal.
It also issued a formal show-cause notice to AgustaWestland to explain within a week why the contract should not be cancelled.
The matter came to light after Italian agencies arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi for suspected corruption to seal the deal.