Cong rejects bribery charge, dares BJP to prove it

Rejecting BJP`s charge that bribes were paid to it in coal blocks allocation, Congress dared it to make public any proof it had .

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2012, 20:55 PM IST

New Delhi: Rejecting BJP`s charge that bribes were paid to it in coal blocks allocation, Congress on Monday dared it to make public any proof it had and asked the opposition party to "look within" as its former president had been jailed for graft.

Stung by the Opposition`s continued tirade against Government on coal block allocation, the ruling party also questioned the legal mandate of the CAG to prepare such reports and accused BJP of making "very crude attempts" to gain "very cheap popularity".

Hitting out at BJP leader Sushma Swaraj`s remarks that Congress has got a "fat sum" from coal block allocation, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it could be "BJP`s culture" and pointed to the case former BJP President Bangaru Laxman, who was convicted of accepting bribe from a fictitious arms dealer to facilitate a defence deal.

"BJP seems to be remembering old traditions. 24 out of 39 coal blocks allocated between 1998 to 2004 (NDA regime) were given to private companies. Did this happen in lieu of some political donation. This `mota maal` and `chhota mal` (fat sum or small sum) can be in BJP`s culture.

"That is not Congress culture. One of their former President was sentenced to jail term for such `chhota maal` (small sum). One should look within first before casting aspersions on others," Tewari said, adding "we want to give BJP a challenge to make public if they have any such proof".

Replying to questions on whether the government has any plan to bring a confidence motion, Tewari said, "At this point what we want is a discussion. We have got a mandate for five years...If somebody is feeling a bit itchy after remaining out of power for last eight years, there are Constitutional instrumentalities. They are free to explore the instrumentalities."

PTI