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Rahul doesn't agree with rejection of Adarsh probe

December 27, 2013 19:50 IST

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday declared that he did not agree with the decision of the Congress government in Maharashtra to reject a judicial commission's report on the Adarsh scam and said it should be reconsidered.

"Personally, I don't agree with that decision. They (Maharashtra) should reconsider that," Gandhi said at a press conference where Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was present.

He was responding to a question on the Maharashtra government’s rejection of the judicial commission's report on the Adarsh scam, in which three former Congress chief ministers faced allegations of committing irregularities.

"There is no question of protecting anybody, they should reconsider," Gandhi said at the press conference at the All India Congress Committee headquarters.

Soon after the press conference, Chavan was pressed by reporters for his reaction. He said he will have to consult his colleagues on the issue.

The Maharashtra government last week rejected the report of the judicial commission of inquiry on the Adarsh scam which was tabled in the Legislative Assembly.

The report of the two-member commission headed by retired high court judge J A Patil had indicted several politicians, including three former chief ministers, for "blatant violation" of statutory provisions.

The report came down heavily on those in authority, describing the scam as a "bad precedent" which reflected "greed, nepotism and favouritism" by those associated with it.

Gandhi's assertion came while he was talking about the Congress' determination to fight corruption.

He chaired a meeting of Congress chief ministers and said a decision had been taken that all the states ruled by the party will enact Lokayuktas modelled on the Lokpal Act by February 28 next year.

Gandhi's disapproval of the Maharashtra government came close on the heels of his close aide and Union minister Milind Deora saying the matter should be investigated instead of being hushed up.

Earlier, Gandhi had trashed an Ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet to negate a Supreme Court judgment -- which provided for immediate disqualification of Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly after conviction in a criminal case. The government had then withdrawn the Ordinance.

Asserting that corruption could not be defeated only by the Lokpal Act, Rahul Gandhi said a proper framework had to be put in place, for which a number of legislations were needed.

In this context, he attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party for blocking the passage of these legislations.

"These days, we hear big talk about fighting corruption. We hear again and again and again and again about corruption. But there is no action, talks have become a fashion," Gandhi said in an apparent attack on BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Pointing out that a number of bills are pending in Parliament, the Congress leader said, "We want a framework... But we are blocked in Parliament. If they (Opposition) are serious, let's stop talking and start acting. We are dead serious (on fighting corruption)."

He went on to add, "Let's have a session of Parliament and create a framework. Whenever we talk about creating a framework, there is complete silence on the other (Opposition) side. I don't hear 'let's pass these bills'."

He emphasised that the country will hugely benefit if a proper framework to fight corruption is put in place, instead of merely talking.

Seeking to highlight the Congress' determination to fight corruption, Gandhi said the United Progressive Alliance government had proposed a number of legislations in this regard.

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