03 Dec 2010
New Delhi : Stating that the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was indifferent to corruption, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Thursday appealed to the government to accept the opposition demand for a parliamentary probe into the 2G spectrum allocation and let parliament function smoothly.
'I appeal to the government on behalf of the entire opposition that for the parliament to function smoothly they should concede the demand for JPC,' Advani said at a press conference here as both houses were adjourned for the 15th successive day over the demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe.
The press conference, called to explain the opposition stance on the stalemate, was also attended by his party colleagues Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and S.S. Ahluwalia as well as leaders from the National Democratic Alliance's Janata Dal-United, Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal.
Accusing the government of not being serious about curbing corruption, Advani said 2G spectrum allocation was a 'multi-dimensional scam which undermines democracy'.
'The government is indifferent to the problem of corruption...This is something, NDA feels, has to be fought against because it is not only corroding society but affects the government as a whole,' he said.
He said the NDA had decided to fight against corruption not only in the precincts of parliament but also take the issue to the people. The NDA would hold rallies throughout the country and also invite other opposition parties.
'We have reached a stage at which a crusade at the people's level is needed,' he said.
Advani also alleged that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were being used as instruments for achieving political ends.
Taking exception to the way the government had appointed P.J. Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, overlooking the objections of Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, Advani said the government should take cognisance of Supreme Court observations concerning him in the 2G spectrum case.
He said Thomas should resign.
Accusing the government of not taking steps to bring money of Indians stashed illegally in foreign banks, he said India was among the 14 countries that had not ratified the UN convention of corruption.
Advani admitted that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had its role in examining the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G spectrum, but could not examine the tapes that had surfaced.
Referring to the conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, excerpts of which have been published in magazines, Advani said business houses had been lobbying to determine who should be a minister and what portfolio he should have.
'The scams that have surfaced now must be probed thoroughly. We think nothing short of JPC can do the task.'
In Advani's view, if the issue of inflation dominated the monsoon session, corruption dominated the winter session.
Referring to the three meetings held to break the deadlock in parliament over the demand for JPC, he said opposition unity on the demand grew firmer with each meeting.
The opposition, he said, was willing to sit extra hours to complete the business if the government conceded the JPC demand.