New Delhi: Facing opposition fire over the Vyapam scam and other issues in Parliament, the Modi government and BJP have decided to vociferously raise the issue of alleged corruption by Congress governments in states to blunt a determined onslaught by the opposition party.
With the logjam in both Houses of Parliament over the Lalit Modi controversy, Vyapam scam and other issues likely to continue, the government has decided to mount a major counter offensive over graft allegations against Congress dispensations and Chief Ministers in states like Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Kerala.
The government today fielded three of its Union ministers to launch an attack on Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat in the alleged liquor scam and over conviction of former Union minister P K Thungon.
The move is being seen as an attempt by the BJP to pay the Congress back in the same coin for attacking its chief ministers in Parliament. Political issues concerning states are normally not brought up in Parliament, but Congress has been insisting on the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scandal and his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje for helping former IPL chairman Lalit Modi.
"Act against Chief Ministers in states, only then you have the moral right to demand resignation of BJP chief ministers," a top leader said.
Sources said by raising the issue of corruption in Congress-ruled states, BJP will also seek to divide the opposition as several parties now arrayed against it would want to lap up the opportunity to attack Congress which is their rival in state politics.
The government's aggression was evident today when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, under attack for helping the "fugitive" former IPL boss secure travel documents in the UK, threatened to name a senior Congress leader who allegedly pressured her to give a diplomatic passport to former Union minister and coal scam accused Santosh Bagrodia.
"I will disclose name of the leader on the floor of the House," Swaraj tweeted this morning.
"Sushma Swaraj is ready to put the record straight," said a Union Minister, adding that "the opposition is not able to digest the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that is why resorting to all this".
"They don't want the government to succeed," he said.
Sources said the government's counter attack may also see BJP MPs raising the issue of the "escape" of Warren Anderson, who was Chairman and CEO of the Union Carbide Corporation at the time of the Bhopal gas tragedy. The issue of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, considered close to the Gandhi family who escaped punishment in the Bofors scandal could also be raised.
"If they raise Lalit Modi, then issues of Quattrochi, Anderson and Dawood will also be discussed. The choice is theirs," the leader said.
As part of the strategy, the Prime Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah also told MPs at the Parliamentary Party meeting not be cowed down by Congress' attack and counter it effectively as "no one has done any wrong".