‘Mins abandoning cabinet like rat on sinking ship’

New Delhi: Hoping that Parliament's Monsoon session will be the "best session" for Opposition to corner the UPA, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan on Saturday said some "wise" ministers are abandoning the cabinet like "rats out of sinking ships" before investigators reach their doorsteps.

He claimed that the Congress was on the decline and people have lost faith in the UPA which speaks regularly about tackling corruption and price rise but do nothing except for getting ministers under fire resign from the cabinet.

Noting that minister after minister were coming under the scanner of investigating agencies in corruption cases, he said, "How many speeches have (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh and (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi made against corruption but the next day one minister resigns."

"Who is next? In my view it is Murli Deora. After the allegations raised against him, what is the propriety in his continuing. He has to go," he told reporters at an interaction organised by the Indian Women Press Corp.

Bardhan's remarks came in the backdrop of Deora's offer to resign ahead of the cabinet reshuffle. However, a section alleges that he offered his resignation so as to preempt investigations into allegations about oil pricing in KGB basin pointed out in a draft CAG report.

"There are some ministers who are abandoning the ship like the rats do when the ship is about to sink...They are wise people. It is like taking anticipatory bail because some of them know that investigations have come close to them and now they are under close watch," he said.

Emphasising that this concerned not only Dayanidhi Maran but also Deora, he said no one knows who is the next in line as minister after minister were coming under the scanner of investigations.