New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday accused the Congress of defending British national Christian Michel in a CBI court in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case and described removal of his counsel Aljo K. Joseph from the party as "drama".
"Besides Joseph, there are two other lawyers of Christian Michel. They are Vishnu Shankar who is the son of a Kerala Congress leader and Sriram Parakkat who has been an NSUI member. All three have worked under big Congress lawyers like Salman Khurshid and Kapil Sibal," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson Sambit Patra told a press conference.
He said the Congress is completely "rattled" after the extradition of Michel and have sent their team to defend Michel in the court.
"The extended hand of Congress is protecting Michel. This is not a self goal but a calculated move by the Congress to protect Michel," he said.
The BJP leader said the Congress' move was a signal to the probe agencies that the party stands "rock solid" behind Christian Michel.
Calling the removal of Joseph from the party as a "drama", Patra claimed the top Congress leaders were having sleepless nights after Michel was extradited from Dubai.
"The Congress went to the shroud of removing Joseph from the party. This is the real face of the Congress. While there is a family within the Congress which is having sleepless nights, the same family has appointed its own pointsman to defend Michel," he said.
He said the Congress has done such "drama" in the past by removing Mani Shankar Aiyer and Sandeep Dikshit.
The Congress expelled Joseph on Wednesday after a controversy erupted over his representation in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case.
"Later they were promoted to senior posts in the party. Sibal appeared in the Ram temple case and withdrew from it after a controversy. In Kerala lottery case, Abhishek Manu Singhvi earlier appeared and later withdrew himself. But in the case of Joseph, they did not ask him to withdraw from the case. Instead, they removed him from the party which is nothing less than a drama," he said.
Sandeep Dikshit, however said that Patra's claim was a blatant lie.
"No such thing happened. I give him 24 hours to apologize or else I will send a legal notice," he said.