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Rahul is not even genuine in anti-corruption fight, scoffs BJP

February 22, 2014 16:07 IST

Attacking Rahul Gandhi over his recent crusade on anti-corruption bills, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday said he was a "late entrant" in the anti-graft bandwagon and his effort was "not genuine" as he had never spoken earlier on the issue.

A day after the extended Winter Session of Parliament ended, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley held a joint press conference in Delhi to react to Gandhi -- who had accused the Opposition of betraying the government over the passage of anti-corruption bills.

Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, said the normal functioning of Parliament was scuttled by Congress members, but the ruling party had no control on them.

On Rahul Gandhi's push for anti-corruption bills and his attack on the Opposition, Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said, "He is a late entrant in the anti-corruption bandwagon. He never spoke on corruption in the last 10 years. But now he says corruption is our (Congress's) issue."

Swaraj added that Rahul was "not even genuine" in his efforts.

She said there were several scams during the United Progressive Alliance government but the Congress vice-president never spoke against it.

"Sau chuhe kha ke billi haj ko chali (after eating 100 rats, a cat goes to pilgrimage)," she said while taking a dig at Rahul.

Jaitley questioned why Rahul remained silent when scams related to the 2G spectrum, coal block allocation, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing Society and VVIP chopper deals took place.

Swaraj and Jaitley termed as "hypothetical" a question on whether the party will extend support if the government chooses the Ordinance route for enacting anti-corruption laws.

"There is no question of supporting or opposing the Ordinances. Now there will be no session (of Parliament). If we come to power (at the Centre), we will make changes," Swaraj said.

Jaitley said the just-concluded Winter Session of Parliament needs to be prorogued before the Ordinance can be promulgated.

"Then we have to see when the (Election) model code of conduct will come into effect. The Ordinances have to be approved by the President, may be the next government will be left to ratify the Ordinances," he said.

Rahul had on Friday indicated that Ordinances could be issued on anti-graft bills which could not be passed in Parliament.

Noting that there was a talk about the possibility of taking the Ordinance route to bring in these anti-graft measures, Gandhi said he had talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi in this regard.

The bills that Gandhi is seeking to push through include Public Procurement Bill, Timely Delivery of Electronic Services and Goods, Citizens Charter Bill, a bill dealing with Bribery of Foreign Officials and Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) Bill, besides the Whistleblower Bill, which was passed by Parliament.

The government has termed the Judicial Standards and Accountability bill as an anti-corruption measure but since the legislation deals with corruption in judiciary, the government is unlikely to bring any Ordinance on this.

Swaraj observed that the "least work" was done during the just-concluded Parliament session.

"Ruling party MPs created hurdles (in the functioning of Parliament). The Congress has lost control over its ministers and MPs," she said.

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