Defending the national security advisor, the statement said: "A few have even sought to link one of the accused with Ajit Doval, present NSA, as also Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to the prime minister. This is a totally baseless assertion, devoid of reason and logic, and indicative of malicious intent. In reality, there is no such connection."
It said all procurement or acquisitions from AgustaWestland or its subsidiaries have been put on hold since July 3, 2014, but without letting this affect defence preparedness. Hitting out at the opposition, the government statement said that "corruption" is the central issue but "a small section of the Indian polity" is trying to divert the public discourse.
"In the matter pertaining to acquisition of AgustaWestland helicopters, the undisputed central issue that stands out is corruption, especially bribery. Any other line of assumption, approach and effort, as is being attempted in some quarters, is misleading, tries to hide the wrong-doers and is driven by instincts of self preservation," it said, calling it "tragic" that "a small section of the Indian polity has attempted, unsuccessfully, to divert and diffuse the public discourse on this matter".