BJP’s Advani attacks UPA on corruption

Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Sunday launched a broadside against the government on corruption, raking up issues like the "bribing" of MPs during the 2008 Trust Vote and WikiLeaks expose.

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2011, 15:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader LK Advani
on Sunday launched a broadside against the government on
corruption, raking up issues like the "bribing" of MPs during
the 2008 Trust Vote and WikiLeaks expose.

"Manmohan Singh has been Prime Minister of the country
since May 2004. The only serious trial of strength his
government has had to face in Parliament was in July 2008.
The government, reduced to a minority, decided to win the
confidence vote by bribing MPs. And this was done openly and
shamelessly," Advani said in the latest post on his blog.

In his post, which primarily seeks to attack the
government on its approach towards nuclear plants even after
the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Advani talks about
controversies that have surrounded the UPA I and II.

He said the three BJP MPs, who dumped the cash in Lok
Sabha on July 22, 2008, actually played the role of
whistle-blowers.

Advani also referred to the reports based on
WikiLeaks last month narrating how "two chests full of
currency notes amounting to Rs 50-60 crore were shown to a US
Embassy official at the residence of Congress MP Satish
Sharma."

"The unending series of scams that are making the
headlines these days and the continuing reprimands being
administered to the Manmohan Singh government by the Supreme
Court are forceful pointers to its loss of moral centre
ethical deficit as a Union Minister described it," Advani said
without naming Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Accusing the government of "stubborn refusal to draw
any lessons from Fukushima", Advani said it illustrated how
"government has lost even its political bearings".

Noting that the tragedy in Japan has disturbed all
countries of the world having nuclear power plants, the BJP
leader said, "Against the above background, it is surprising
to find Government of India spokesmen practically ridiculing
everyone who voices reservations about rushing headlong into
the direction of new nuclear energy plants."

Advani also attacked Environment Minister Jairam
Ramesh for his "adamant stand on Jaitapur".

"If any environmentalist strikes a note of caution
that the tragedy in Japan should not be disregarded,
particularly in parts of the country which are known to be in
a seismic zone, he invites sarcastic remarks from the that it
is paradoxical that the environmentalists are against nuclear
energy," he rued.

Ramesh had said that he was trying to balance four
objectives on the issue of Jaitapur that include amount of
energy required to sustain a growth rate of nine percent,
proportion of fuel mix, environmental concerns; and strategic
diplomacy, especially after the Civilian Nuclear Deal, he said.

"One can understand and appreciate first three. But
how does strategic diplomacy become an objective for
Environment Minister unless it is acknowledged that one of the
objectives of signing this treaty even at the risk of losing
UPA’s majority was to promote the commercial interests of US
nuclear firms...Is it not strange that this most important
factor of safety does not even figure in the parameters spelt
out by Jairam Ramesh," he said.

PTI