LK Advani backs Nitin Gadkari but says no immunity for party on graft
New Delhi: Senior leader LK Advani on Wednesday came out in defence of party president Nitin Gadkari, who has come under increasing attack over the affairs of his company, but made it clear at the same time that BJP should not claim immunity on either scale or nature of the allegations.
"Nitinji has come clean by asking for an inquiry by the Department of Company Affairs. It is a fair and proper response," he said in a statement here on media reports questioning alleged dubious funding and other issues involving his company Purti Power and Sugar.
Maintaining that Gadkari's response showed the difference in BJP's attitude, Advani said the allegations against Gadkari were about "standards of business and not misuse of power or corruption."
"But I am of the view that the BJP should be different and should not claim immunity on either scale or nature of the allegations," he said.
Advani's defence of Gadkari assumes significance in the context of continuing media reports of the way his companies were being run and a shadow cast on a second term for him as party president.
BJP MP Ram Jethmalani has demanded that Gadkari should quit the post and not not seek a second term in office in the interest of the party.
Accusing the Government of trying to neutralise the "unprecedented" corruption charges against it by targeting Gadkari, Advani hoped there will be an impartial probe into the matter.
"I hope that the government inquiry will be fair and the government will not use its political hostility to the BJP to colour the inquiry," he said.
Advani accused the UPA of trying to work a strategy to
paint the entire political class with the same brush to minimise and escape its "unpardonable sins".
He said the allegations against opposition leaders like Gadkari was an "off-shoot" of this.
Advani said one of the allegations of wrongdoing against Gadkari related to land issue which has been proved wrong according to media reports themselves.
He also congratulated Gadkari for "voluntarily" asking for a probe into the allegations of dubious funding in his companies.
Advani lamented that the "monumental" corruption by the ruling UPA has "made the political class hang its head in shame".