PM rewarded corrupt ministers with 'promotions': BJP
New Delhi: BJP on Monday alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rewarded the corrupt ministers with "promotions" in the reshuffle and shied away from giving Cabinet berths to the young leaders.
"Some new ministers have been inducted into the Manmohan Singh Cabinet in his last ditch but unsuccessful attempt to save his sinking ship. People had expected that he will try to wash away some of the taint but the tainted ministers enjoy his support while the clean ones have been ignored," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
He maintained that the tainted ministers have been given a new life by Singh and the government is more tainted now than it was before the Cabinet reshuffle.
Hussain said that the reshuffle seems to be part of the Congress' design to divert attention from the coal scam and other scandals.
"Though the BJP has never had any expectations from the UPA government, it has given promotions to those ministers who were facing allegations. It seems levelling of charges against a minister is not considered a negative point but is actually a plus," Hussain said.
Referring to the elevation of Salman Khurshid, who has been shifted from the Law Ministry to the Ministry of External Affairs, Hussain said though there are allegations that Khurshid's NGO had misused government funds, he has been sent to Raisina Hill (the MEA office).
Taking a dig at the removal of former Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, whose brother is a director in one of the companies which got a coal block allocation allegedly at his behest, Hussain said the Congress maintains that such leaders will work to strengthen the party and have not been punished.
BJP also insisted that the young MPs sworn in as Union Ministers have not been given any Cabinet berth.
Hussain claimed the young brigade has been appointed due to their proximity to Rahul Gandhi. He also took potshots at the Congress, asking the ruling party to define what it meant by young leaders as some of the ministers being put in the category are over 40.
Without naming K Rehman Khan, BJP said the other minister from the minority community to be sworn in still has charges pending against him in the Amanath Cooperative Bank case.
Asked about Jaipal Reddy being eased out of the Petroleum Ministry, allegedly at the behest of a business house, Hussain said, "This question should be put to the Prime Minister. Only he can answer as to who is appointing or removing these ministers. There appears to be no visible criteria for appointing these leaders."
The BJP spokesperson compared Congress party to Titanic and said its members do not know what course to take "as happens when a ship is sinking".