New Delhi: BJP on Thursday welcomed the sentencing of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and others in the fodder scam and hoped that there will similar judgements punishing the guilty in cases of "monumental" corruption like 2G spectrum, Coalgate, and Commonwealth Games.
"Lalu Prasad, former Congress Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma have been sentenced for four-five years. BJP feels this is a very important milestone in the fight against corruption. The whole country was up against corruption and wanted results," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
Welcoming the verdict, BJP said people are now eagerly waiting for judgements on bigger scams.
"Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum and coal allocation scams are cases of monumental corruption and people are waiting for results. Corruption cannot be the mainstay of politics. People are waiting for the verdicts on these cases," Javadekar said.
The main Opposition, which is unhappy with the government charge that it has done a volte face on the bill on convicted MPs after initially supporting the proposed legislation, alleged that the UPA regime has "unleashed a misleading propaganda" against it.
"The government knew about the shape of things to come and wanted to shield these leaders. It took the ordinance route which failed miserably," Javadekar said.
BJP maintained that UPA ministers had not presented any bill in the all-party meeting and only four optional government proposals were discussed.
"In the meeting, every party expressed its opinion on various proposals. After the meeting, Union ministers P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath suggested that all the four proposals will be sent to the Standing Committee of Parliament. Instead of keeping this promise, the government came out with the bill in Rajya Sabha," Javadekar said.
"The ordinance route was never discussed. Government`s mischievous assertion on this issue is a desperate attempt to hide its faux pas on the ordinance," he added.
Javadekar claimed that BJP had immediately expressed its reservations on the bill when it was presented in the Rajya Sabha.
"Consequently, the bill was sent to the Standing Committee of Parliament," he said.
BJP rubbished Congress` charge that it supported the bill in the Lok Sabha but changed its stand in the Upper House. "The bill never came before the Lok Sabha and therefore, there is no question of change of stand by the BJP from one House to another," Javadekar said.
The BJP claimed that neither was the ordinance route discussed with the Opposition parties nor was an all-party meeting held to discuss the proposal of bringing an ordinance on convicted lawmakers.
"The Congress should be blamed for trying to bring an ordinance to save its colleagues and party men. The Congress cannot absolve itself of the culpability of attempting to push the bill first and then bringing the ordinance. The onus of bringing the ill-conceived bill and later the ordinance is on the Congress," Javadekar said.
He alleged that instead of accepting its own follies, Congress is trying to shamelessly shift blame on others.
The party lauded the role of President Pranab Mukherjee and said his refusal to sign on the dotted line immediately prevented the ordinance from coming into force.
"We have seen days when an ordinance was sent to the President in the evening and signed promptly by him. The nation is grateful to the president for his role (in stopping this ordinance)," Javadekar said.