New Delhi: Both Houses of Parliament on Thursday witnessed commotion as Bofors scam was raised by the opposition parties in Rajya Sabha as well as Lok Sabha to corner the Congress-led UPA. The Houses had to be adjourned repeatedly following the uproar on the issue as the treasury and the opposition benches continued to trade charges.
While the Opposition demanded a new probe into the scam, the Congress maintained that Bofors was now a closed chapter.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh hit out at the government in the Lok Sabha, calling Bofors a "saga of continuing corruption".
Even as he expressed happiness over the fact that the name of then Congress MP and actor Amitabh Bachchan was cleared in the scam, Singh said, "We must find out why was Amitabh Bachchans name involved in the Bofors scam in the first place."
He further questioned why the Red Corner notice against Quattrochi was withdrawn in the case.
"Quattrochi was taken out of the country by the government. How did this happen," said Singh.
Admitting that the NDA had failed to get Quattrocchi extradited after his arrest in Malaysia, Singh said, "Many will say why did you not do it. You have failed, we have failed. But don't consider our failure as your success."
Observing that it gave him "no delight" to raise this issue, he said, "25 years have passed but the storm of Bofors refuses to subside and the guns continue to blaze."
Without naming Rajiv Gandhi, the BJP leader said, "The absence of the late Prime Minister is felt. A promising leader was taken away from our polity."
The Left also attacked the Centre over the issue with CPM leader Basudeb Acharia saying "Bofors is not a closed chapter".
Amidst the uproar in the Lok Sabha, he said, "Money was taken but why when everyone knew that money was deposited in Quattrocchi's account, he was allowed to move out of the country in 1993?"
"Now with the new revelations, we would want to know how he could not be extradited," said Acharia.
The CPM leader also slammed senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid for asking the opposition parties to apologise, adding, "The people voted Congress out because of the Bofors deal. Till now the government has not answered why the inquiry was not done properly, what interest we had, why there was cover up , who was protecting Quattrocchi."
"We demand the case should be reopened and independent inquiry be initiated. We demand Quattrocchi should be brought back to India," said Acharia.
The strong voices of the opposition evoked sharp reactions from the ruling Congress, which said that there had been a lot of discussion on the issue of Bofors in the House for the last 25 years.
Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam said, "The Supreme Court gave the clean chit to Rajiv Gandhi. The BJP should apologise for defaming him."
He further said that while the case was closed by the apex court, the BJP was trying to politicise the matter.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)