PM expressed helplessness in dealing with graft: BJP

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of “helplessness” in dealing with corruption, and said he had sought to “cover up” scams relating to the 2G spectrum, the Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh Housing Society.

Responding to remarks of the prime minister during his interaction with TV channel editors here, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said Singh had sought to “cover up corruption”.

“It was disappointing… the prime minister admitted that he does not have strength to fight corruption,” Gadkari told reporters.

Gadkari said the prime minister’s remarks that the BJP had adopted “a hostile attitude” because of action against a minister in Gujarat “was laughable”.

Apparently referring to former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah, who has been accused of involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh killing in an alleged fake gun battle, the prime minister said the BJP had taken a very hostile policy because a decision had been taken concerning a person who was a minister in Gujarat.

Gadkari said the prime minister pinned blame on the media and opposition parties for the scams facing the government.

“There is a CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report, a decision of the Income Tax Tribunal…the media has exposed scandals,” he said.

Gadkari alleged that Manmohan Singh had expressed his inability to check corruption in the name of coalition politics.

“Coalition does not mean ministry outsourcing…His remarks that the finance ministry had supported decisions taken regarding 2G spectrum showed that everybody was involved,” he said.

He said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had run a coalition government at the centre without scams and there were alliance governments in several parts of country, including in Bihar.

The BJP president said if the prime minister had stated earlier that he was ready to face a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum controversy, the winter session of parliament would not have been lost.

Gadkari said Manmohan Singh had sought to compare prices of spectrum to subsidies given in some sectors and this was “laughable”.

Alleging that wrong policies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government were responsible for food inflation, the BJP president said the party will continue to agitate on issues of price-rise and corruption.

He maintained that while compulsions of coalition had been cited by the prime minister in the 2G spectrum controversy, there was no such alibi for corruption in the Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Asked about the score he would give to the prime minister, Gadkari said that giving marks was not his job but Manmohan Singh had scored less than the pass marks of 33 percent.

“Some divine power is running the government,” he said, adding that there was a well-planned attempt to cover up corruption.

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