New Delhi: Unfazed by BJP approaching the President on Gujarat Lokayukta issue, Congress on Friday intensified its attack on the party and Narendra Modi calling him "another Yeddyurappa" whose government has been charged with an Rs 26,651 crore fraud.
"The CAG report has spoken of misappropriation and fraud of Rs 26,651 crore and the people are seeking the details.
Hence, this attack on constitutional institutions so as to avoid being exposed in front of the country," party leader Mohan Prakash, told reporters at a joint press conference along
with Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil and PCC chief Arjun Modhwadia.
They alleged that Modi was presiding over a "corrupt regime" and was apprehensive that an "independent" Lokayukta will expose him.
"Modi is another Yeddyurappa, or you can call him Modiappa. It is a desperate Modi and a desperate BJP… which is a badi jhoothi (big liar) party," Gohil said.
Gohil even challenged Modi for a public debate at the place of the Chief Minister`s choice on the issue of appointment of Lokayukta insisting that the Governor Kamla Beniwal had acted "as per law" in appointing justice R A Mehta as the lokayukta.
The BJP is up in arms against Mehta`s appointment as Lokayukta by Beniwal without consulting Modi and his council of ministers with senior party leader L K Advani leading a
delegation of party MPs to President Pratibha Patil today and demanding immediate recall of the Governor.
Taking a dig at BJP, Gohil and Modhwadia said, if they feel the truth is on their side, why they are not fighting a legal battle and resorting to paralyzing Parliament.
"The fact of the matter is that, if there is an independent Lokayukta, then Modi will have to go and he is the biggest fund manager of the BJP", alleged Gohil.
Gohil said, that the post had been lying vacant for seven and-half-years and blamed Modi for keeping it so in a "blatantly illegal manner".
The Congress leaders from the state also wondered that the BJP, which swore by Anna Hazare`s campaign has been attacking the appointment of Justice Mehta as Lokayukta
despite the fact that it was at his place that the Gandhian had made his night halt during a visit to the state.
"It is shameful that on the one hand, you extend support to Anna Hazare and on the other you refuse to appoint a Lokayukta in Gujarat," Gohil said.
Prakash said, the opposition by BJP over the appointment establishes the fact that it wants "full liberty to loot the government exchequer".
The confrontation between the Congress and BJP over the Lokayukta issue has worsened at a time, when assembly elections in Gujarat was only a year away.
Congress is in political wilderness in the state for over 15 years.
The Gujarat leaders insisted that the entire process for appointment of the Lokayukta has been "judiciously completed" as per clause 3 of the Lokayukta Act and three Lokayuktas have been appointed, since the Act came into force in 1986.
They said, that during these appointments of Lokayuktas, "no role" was played by the Chief Minister or the Council of Ministers.
Bodhwadia alleged that Modi after becoming the Chief Minister has consistently paralyzed the working of constitutional commissions like the Human Rights Commission.
Bodhwadia also accused Modi of ensuring that the post of the Deputy Speaker which, by convention, goes to the Opposition remained vacant.
He claimed the murders of RTI activist in several districts of Gujarat tell their own story.
Posing a slew of questions to Modi, the leaders asked, "If your governance is corruption free, why are you shying away and scared of Lokayukta. The Lokayukta Act does not stipulate you any authority or power to consult or confer regarding the Lokayukta`s appointment. Why are you spreading canards about your role and how the Leader of Opposition is not extending cooperation to you."