PM presiding over 'most corrupt government': BJP



Lucknow: The BJP national executive on Friday accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of presiding over the "most corrupt government" since independence, saying it has lost all moral authority to rule.

The issue of corruption in Congress-led UPA dominated the first day of the BJP meet here with the party training its guns on Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for looking the other way and keeping mum while the 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games and Adarsh scams were taking place.

BJP passed a strongly-worded resolution on corruption in which is patted its back for the arrest of former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"It is evident that Manmohan Singh presides over the most corrupt government since independence. It lacks transparency, there is collusion at high level, no checks and balances and there is virtual collapse of system where scam after scam and scandal after scandal has become the order of the day," the party said in its resolution.

The document, moved by general secretary Ananth Kumar, also indicts Gandhi for not taking timely action.

"The Prime Minister maintained a 'conspiracy of silence', 'culpability of inaction', and 'guilty of gross indifference' when nation's wealth was being plundered by the then Minister right under his nose by a massive abuse of system and yet Manmohan Singh looked the other way. The silence of all powerful Sonia Gandhi was too conspicuous," BJP said.

The opposition party also mocked at the UPA-II pledge after it completed two years in office that it was serious about fighting corruption.

"Nothing could be more ironical as this hollow declaration was being made in the backdrop of one of the own erstwhile Ministerial colleague, a senior Congress Member of Parliament and the daughter of the leader of an important constituent of the UPA detained in Tihar Jail on serious charges of massive corruption," the party said.

It was referring to A Raja, CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and DMK chief M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi being in jail on charges of corruption.

This resolution has come at a time when Baba Ramdev has cornered the government with his threat of a mass hunger strike and former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran is battling charges of his family-owned Sun Direct TV benefitting from pay-offs in 2G spectrum.

BJP has openly supported Ramdev's demands and even maintained that the issue of bringing Indian black money stashed abroad was first raised by its senior leader LK Advani during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

"When the issue was highlighted by the BJP Parliamentary Leader LK Advani in the last Lok Sabha elections it was called an election stunt by Congress," the BJP resolution said.

It has criticised the UPA-II government of failing to keep its promise of bringing back black money within 100 days of coming to power.

The Rs 1.76 lakh crore scam involving allocation of 2G spectrum figured prominently in the resolution.

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi alleged that it was Maran who had triggered the 2G spectrum scam as he ensured that the powers of the Group of Ministers were transferred to his ministry when he was the Telecom Minister in UPA-I.

Joshi, and other BJP leaders, have charged - on the basis of a recent report by a magazine - that Maran had favoured a Malayasian company Maxis Communication.

This company had bought 74 per cent share in Aircel and reportedly in lieu of that Maxis invested more than Rs 600 Crore in Sun Direct TV which is owned by Maran's family.

The BJP in its resolution highlighted Commonwealth Games anomalies, appointment of PJ Thomas as CVC despite a corruption case pending against him, Adarsh Housing Society scam which saw Ashok Chavan stepping down as Maharashtra chief minister, and the Antrix-ISRO deal.

The Antrix deal, in which the Department of Space held directly by the Prime Minister, came in for special criticism.

"When confronted with gross irregularity his reply was the same as usual, he did not know about it or was not told about it. It seems odd and curious that alibi of lack of knowledge has become the constant theme whenever he is confronted with any irregularity.

"Manmohan Singh should we presume that you don’t do any monitoring or, you are in the habit of looking the other way, whenever any wrong or corruption takes place," the resolution said.

The proposed Lokpal Bill, aimed at prompt punishment to the corrupt officials and politicians, also figured in deliberations. The party made public its president Nitin Gadkari's reply to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Mukherjee had written to BJP, other political parties and chief ministers of states to give their suggestions for the proposed legislation. The Finance Minister is part of the government-civil society drafting committee looking into the matter.

While batting strongly for the need for such a body to combat graft, BJP made it clear that it would not be "proper for parties and parliamentarians to submit opinions to civil society groups for acceptance or rejection. (Reopens Del 107)

"Expecting political parties to give their views to a drafting committee comprising of civil society representatives for acceptance or otherwise would be upsetting the constitutional propriety where parties, parliamentarians and the Parliament have the last word.

They are the decision-makers and not suggestion givers," Gadkari said in his reply to Mukherjee.

Earlier, in his inaugural address to the two-day conclave, Gadkari emphasised on BJP fighting for a corruption-free India.

"It has been our long cherished dream as also a solemn commitment to make India free from terror, hunger and corruption," he said.

He stated that a national Judicial Commission should be set-up to deal with appointment of judges and to look into complaints of their misdemeanors.

The party, which has of late been plagued by luring away of its legislators in Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir, also reiterated that there should be open voting at election of Legislative Council members.

In J&K, seven of its 11 MLAs had voted for candidates from other parties, allegedly after payment of bribe.

Land Acquisition, which has been a dominant issue due to the Bhatta Parsaul controversy in Greater Noida and in Chandauli area near Varanasi, was also mentioned by Gadkari.

He said farmers should be paid compensation which is above the market price of their land, annuity or equity should be paid to them, one member of each such family should be employed, adequate share of developed land should be given back to land owners and there should be proper relief and rehabilitation of those affected by land acquisition.

During the daylong session, Joshi made a presentation on the recent problems in PAC when the Congress, BSP and SP members had opposed presentation of the report on 2G scam.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley spoke on how the proposed Communal Violence Bill is against the majority community as it states that communal riots would never be initiated by the minority community.

PTI