Advani accuses government of sullying India’s iamgeAugust 30th, 2008 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani Saturday accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of “sullying” the image of the Indian democracy in the world.Advani termed the cash for vote scam, in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs were allegedly bribed to vote in favour of the UPA government, as the “most disgraceful episode” in the political history of the country.
The opposition leader said the scandal would not have happened without the prior knowledge of the prime minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
“This could not have happened without the knowledge and consent of top leadership of the Congress and the government. The nation expects Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to break their silence on this unprecedented scandal,” Advani said at a conference on Governance and Politics organised by the legal and legislative cell of the BJP.
Advani, the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), called the scam “incomparable and more obnoxious” than the Bofors scam and expressed hope the parliamentary committee probing it would bring out the truth.
“However, I would like to warn Congress leaders and the government that any attempt to cover up truth in this scandal - as was done by the Joint Parliamentary Committee in the Bofors case - will not be tolerated by people. That happened in 1989, it will happen again in 2009,” Advani said.
Quoting the observations of a columnist in a newspaper, Advani said that the prime minister’s reputation for personal honesty had been dented and he was now “just another sullied politician”.
Expressing his concern on the increasing corruption in the politics of the country, Advani suggested setting up of fast track courts to prosecute politicians and civil servants indicted in corruption cases.
“The BJP is willing to consider any effective mechanism for fast-track disposal of cases involving major economic offences and corruption cases against politicians and civil servants,” Advani said.
Advani asked the BJP legal cell to make deep studies about bringing about legal and judicial reforms.
With a backlog of 20 million cases in the courts across the country, Advani said that the BJP’s first commitment will be to enhance the budgetary allocation for unclogging the judicial system to minimize delays.
Striking a note of caution on external situation, Advani said the country was surrounded by “failed states” and the infiltration of anti-India elements in the entire North Eastern states from Bangladesh was a matter of concern.
Convenor of BJP legal and legislative cell Pinki Anand said: “It was astounding that the UPA government had repealed POTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) when the world was moving towards zero tolerance of terrorist crimes.”