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UPA allies feel they are sailing on sinking ship: BJP

October 19, 2011 19:09 IST
With Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar reportedly talking about the United Progressive Alliance's "low credibility due to scams", the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said the ruling coalition partners have started feeling they are on a sinking ship and may quit the alliance.

"Earlier, the West Bengal chief minister did not accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his visit to Bangladesh due to differences on Teesta river water sharing. This was not just the action of Mamata Banerjee but also an indicator of many things forthcoming," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. He was commenting on an interview of Nationalist Congress Party chief Pawar to a newspaper where he appeared to be critical of the government.

"A minister who is no less capable than Sonia Gandhi or the prime minister has spoken from a neutral platform. Pawar has acknowledged that the government is besieged with scandals, that there is a loss of trust of the people and the credibility of the government has been lost," Rudy said. The BJP MP maintained that Pawar, despite being the agriculture minister, has called several schemes of the Manmohan Singh government "populist" and those which would "adversely affect the development of the country".

"Either the Congress is feeling the heat of its allies or the allies are feeling that they are sailing on a sinking boat," Rudy said. Asked if these comments of Pawar indicate that he wants to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Rudy shot back saying, "It looks like he is planning to leave the UPA. The question also arises why the prime minister did not stop this with his intervention or is it that he is not in charge?"

The BJP alleged that the absence of a strong government at the Centre had given away space to others. "Failure of the government has created the space for the Supreme Court, the judiciary at other levels and the civil society," Rudy said.

The Opposition also pointed out that Pawar had praised the two NDA governments -- Narendra Modi-led Gujarat and Nitish Kumar-led Bihar -- for good governance. "Pawar has praised Modi as a chief minister who is a reformist, one who takes up new ideas and welcomes innovations," Rudy said.

He insisted that as an MP from Bihar he had himself seen the improvement in law and order in the state, a fact mentioned by Pawar while praising Kumar. "Fortunately, these two are NDA governments," he said.

The BJP claimed that though its leaders -- like former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa -- had faced charges of corruption, the party had been prompt in taking action against them while the Congress has been found wanting.

"There has been a desperate bid by the Congress to nail the BJP, especially when L K Advani's yatra is against black money and corruption. We as a party are ready to accept our weaknesses and to admonish those who do wrong," Rudy said.

He reiterated that the BJP fully supported the establishment of a Lokpal in the fight against graft. The BJP alleged that Congress, on the other hand, had not taken any action against its leaders facing charges.

 "The Congress has nothing to say on Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the Commonwealth Games scam, about Home Minister P Chidambaram on the 2G scam, about Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on the mining scam, Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh in Adarsh housing society scam," Rudy said.

He recalled that even the Supreme Court has pointed out that had the prime minister acted in 2007, the Rs 1.76 lakh-crore 2G scam would not have taken place.

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