Press Trust of India
Allahabad, 2 October
Describing as a “farce” Rahul Gandhi’s opposition to the ordinance on convicted lawmakers, the BJP today said his concern at this juncture gives rise to “serious doubts” as he did not utter “a single word” when the country was witnessing “scams after scams”.
“Gandhi’s show of concern gives rise to serious doubts. The country has witnessed scam after scam during the last nine years while his party has been in power. We never heard a single word from the Congress Vice-President on the 2G scam, the coal block allocation scam or the irregularities in the Commonwealth Games,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
He trashed Congress’ charge that the BJP was not opposed to the ordinance.
“If the ordinance is withdrawn, the credit will go to the public outcry against the move aimed at overturning a Supreme Court order against tainted lawmakers.
“The BJP has been giving voice to the people’s anger against corruption inside Parliament as well as on other forums. Rahul Gandhi’s stance on the issue is just a farce,” the BJP’s Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha said.
The former Union minister, however, claimed that “the way Mr Gandhi went about calling the ordinance a nonsense, and that it deserved to be torn and thrown away, is an undisguised insult to the Prime Minister.
“We have been an Opposition party and though we may have opposed many decisions of the PM, we have taken care not to ridicule the high office”.
He said that the Prime Minister should have put in his papers due to the “disrespect”.
“We wonder why Manmohan Singh has not tendered his resignation in protest against the blatant show of disrespect. He will be devaluing the institution of the Prime Minister if he stays in the office, putting up with the humiliation,” the BJP national spokesman said.
Earlier, addressing a seminar organised on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Prasad recalled that the late Premier had “resigned from the post of the Railway Minister, taking moral responsibility for an accident which could not have been blamed on him”.
“Compare that era with today. Our Prime Minister chooses to cling to the post and even holds parleys with the very party vice-president whose orchestrated outburst made him an object of ridicule,” he said.
On the conviction of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case, the BJP leader said “the governments of the then Prime Ministers H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujral had tried to protect him. The Congress-led UPA government was no different.
The trial reached its logical conclusion only because of monitoring by the High Court where a PIL was filed in the matter by my party colleague Sushil Modi and for which I appeared as the counsel”.
“The country is yearning for a change. The economy is in a mess, our borders are not secure and there are attempts everywhere to engineer social tensions to secure vote banks. The people are looking at the BJP, led by its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, with great hope and we are committed to living up to their expectations,” Mr Prasad added.
Later, the senior BJP leader, flanked by party colleagues Siddharth Nath Singh and Keshri Nath Tripathi, among others, flagged off a “Kisan Jan Jagran Yatra” ~ a move aimed at wooing farmers of the district by showcasing the steps taken to improve agriculture in BJP-ruled states, especially Gujarat.