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Congress eroding democracy: PM
November 23, 2003 15:13 IST
Last Updated: November 23, 2003 15:45 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Sunday defended six of his Cabinet colleagues against charges of "looting and extorting" public sector undertakings, and said the Congress was eroding democracy by making "baseless allegations".
At an election rally in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, he asked people to "prevent such elements from coming to power".
"I have talked to the central vigilance commissioner and Cabinet secretary, who have said that the allegations were not correct," the PM said.
The ministers have the right to file defamation suits, he added.
He said Dilip Singh Judeo -- who was allegedly taped taking bribe -- quit as Union minister on moral grounds, but Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Singh did not show such courage and remained in office despite a forgery case against him.
Vajpayee accused Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of politicising the issue of central help for famine relief and said his government had provided Rs 7,000 crore to the state.
"By extending help we have obliged nobody... not donated anything... it is public money and as its custodians we spend it wisely," he said.
He asked people to bring back the Bharatiya Janata Party to power to put the state on the path to development.