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Money is found in pockets of Congress leaders: BJP

October 25, 2012 22:45 IST

Launching a counter-offensive, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday said while its chief Nitin Gadkari has agreed to a probe about his company's funding, Congress and its ministers have not made any such offer about Robert Vadra's dealings and other cases.

Speaking at a public meeting in Sundernagar, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, "When Congress leaders' faces were blackened, they decided to malign us also and accused our national president Nitin Gadkari. But he did not sit at home. He faced the media alone and replied to all the charges made against him".

"He is the only leader to have volunteered for a probe into the allegations against him from any agency, even though these agencies are controlled by them (government). He is confident that he will not be found guilty," she said.

In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman came to Gadkari's defence and hit out at the Congress on the issue of graft.

"Our party president has himself said that he is ready for a probe by any agency. He said this not only on the day the allegations were levelled but subsequently also came forward to answer the questions that were being raised. But the same does not seem to apply to other parties, especially the Congress," Sitharaman said.
She said it was strange that these questions were being put only to the BJP and not to the Congress about Vadra or the ministers who are facing charges of financial impropriety.

Sitharaman sought to know if anybody from the Congress has come forward to say that there should be a probe in the Vadra case as well as those involving ministers -- a reference to the charges levelled against Law Minister Salman Khurshid, whose NGO had come under a cloud recently.

"We would like to ask the Congress why are their ministers, who have not answered the questions raised, still in the Cabinet? Are they ready to be probed," she said.

"Be it the 2G spectrum scam, Coalgate, the ISRO-Dewas deal, the Aircel-Maxis case, the cash-for-vote case and the charges against Virbhadra Singh -- let us ask the Congress on how many of them are willing to come out for a probe," Sitharaman said.

BJP also maintained that reports of Gadkari keeping away from his appointments and public meetings are untrue.

"All programmes of the party president are on. Things will continue as they are," Sitharaman said when asked if he will campaign in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

Asked about BJP MP Ram Jethmalani's demand that Gadkari should not get another term, Sitharaman said, "Our senior leadership has already responded to it. I have nothing more to add."

She also insisted that the party has been speaking in favour of Gadkari. Party veteran L K Advani, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj as well as her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley have come out in Gadkari's support, she added.

In her speech, Swaraj alleged that the government has turned inimical towards corruption and scams.

"We come out with pride, they do it with shame," Swaraj said, referring to Gadkari's stand and chiding Congress leaders allegedly embroiled in scams.

Swaraj also took digs at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his earlier remark that "money does not grow on trees", saying "Pradhan mantriji, money does not grow on trees but money is found in the pockets of Congress leaders".

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