Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Manmohan trying to cover up corruption: BJP

New Delhi, February 16, 2011

Terming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's interaction with editors as very disappointing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accused him of trying to "cover up" the various scams and said that 'coalition dharma' cannot mean supporting corruption.

"The Prime Minister's press conference was very disappointing and shows his helplessness. Coalition dharma cannot mean support to corruption. And coalition is related only to 2G. What is the relation between coalition and the case of ISRO (S-band allocation), Commonwealth Games and Adarsh cases?" BJP President Nitin Gadkari told reporters.

He accused the Prime Minister of trying to shield the corrupt.

"In a way, an effort has been made to cover-up the corruption. He has accused the media and opposition of spreading misinformation while maintaining that all is well. He has expressed his helplessness," Mr. Gadkari said.

The BJP President termed as "laughable" the Prime Minister's charge that the BJP was attacking the government to vent its anger at the action taken against a Gujarat Minister (Amit Shah).

On the crucial issue of Joint Parliamentary Committee formation and functioning of Parliament during the budget session, Mr. Gadkari said it is "unjust" to accuse the opposition for the stalemate.

"On JPC issue also he (PM) has tried to blame the opposition for not allowing Parliament to function. If today the government has indicated that it is ready to think on a JPC, then why did it waste one month (winter session)," Mr. Gadkari said.

He maintained that if the Prime Minister is willing to depose before any Parliamentary committee, then he should have agreed to a JPC probe much earlier.

"Why did you not agree to it (JPC) earlier? If you are ready to appear in front of any committee... that you are agreeing to now... Had you done this earlier this situation would not have arisen," Mr. Gadkari said.

Though the BJP chief evaded questions on whether the principal opposition wanted Dr. Singh to resign, he said as the "captain" of the team (government) he is responsible for bad performance.

Mr. Gadkari alleged that the Prime Minister had failed to check corruption in his government and was trying to indirectly shield former Telecom Minister A. Raja.

The Prime Minister has accepted that he has completely failed to check corruption, he maintained.

"To support corruption in this manner in the name of coalition dharma and to 'outsource' a department to a coalition partner.... For the first time, PM has said all decisions taken by A. Raja had the support of the Finance Minister. What support is there of the UPA and the Congress in this? This means everybody is responsible," Gadkari said.

He insisted that as head of Group of Ministers, it was the Prime Minister's responsibility to check this.

"Was just writing a letter once (to Raja) his solution?...This is his failure," Mr. Gadkari said.

The BJP chief said he "appreciated" how the Prime Minister has accepted his "failures".

"He has accepted with an open heart that he is helpless, not able to take decisions, there is pressure of coalition partners, and (he is) not able to stop this corruption. This is a very honest expression from him. I appreciate it," Mr. Gadkari said.

The BJP also said the comparison of the 2G spectrum prices with subsidy for fertilisers, gas and oil, foodgrain is unfair and maintained that 2G spectrum allocation was not subsidy but a way of making money.

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