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Battle against corruption to continue: Advani

Last updated on: November 20, 2011 18:51 IST

Battle against corruption to continue: Advani

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All the 215 National Democratic Alliance MPs will submit a declaration to Parliament within the next 10 days stating that they have no illegal assets or banks accounts abroad, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani announced on Friday at the end of his marathon 7,600 km 38-day 'public awakening' yatra against corruption.

"Within one week of the start of the Parliament session on November 22, all NDA MPs will give a declaration that they do not possess any bank account or illegal wealth abroad," he said addressing a rally at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi.

Advani said the declaration would be handed over by Lok Sabha MPs to Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha MPs to Chairman Hamid Ansari.

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Image: Advani began his 38-day Jan Chetna Yatra from Sitabdiara in Bihar

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'Government lacks political will to fight graft'

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It will read, "I solemnly declare that I do not have directly or indirectly any bank account or asset illegally held outside India."

84-year-old Advani, who toured 22 states and five Union territories, said even though his journey has ended, the battle against corruption, would continue.

Accusing the government of "lack of political will" to fight graft, Advani said the only route to end corruption is through public awakening or a change of government.

Flanked by top BJP and NDA leaders, Advani said, "the fog around India's politics will not go automatically. It will go only by public awakening or by the change of government."

He added, "My yatra against corruption has ended, but this war will carry on till we conquer corruption."

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Image: File photo of people waiting for Advani in Bhopal
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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'Battle will continue till corruption is removed'

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Among those present were BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, Anant Geete of Shiv Sena, Ramdas Athavale of Republican Party of India as well as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo Jayalalitha's emissary M Thambidurai.

Raising the pitch against the government on the black money issue, Advani said it has not provided any concrete information or steps taken by it.

Accusing the government of not having the will to tackle graft, Advani said, "corruption is rampant in the country and this government is known as the most-corrupt. The main reason for not eradicating corruption is not the lack of laws, but the lack of political will to act against corruption."

"This battle will continue till the time the nation is satisfied that corruption is actually removed," Advani said noting that he has conducted six nationwide yatras in the 60 years of his joining politics.

The BJP leader also favoured a strong Lokpal bill and said he would ascertain the progress made by the committee on the much-awaited measure.

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Image: Advani interacts with the public during his yatra

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'Sonia, PM must apologise for arrest of innocent BJP MPs'

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Advani said he missed the presence of his veteran party colleague Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is ailing.

"I received overwhelming welcome in various states. But this was the first yatra when Vajpayeeji was not with me," he said.

In his speech, BJP president Gadkari demanded an apology to the nation from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the jailing of its three "innocent" whistle-blower MPs in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.

"If you have a big heart, you should tender an apology to the nation," he said.

Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, blamed the "wrong policies" of the government for rising prices and accused the prime minister of leading the "most corrupt" government.

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'Crisis of leadership and credibility in the UPA'

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"The Yatra has ended but not the struggle," Swaraj said, adding that while Advani will lead the NDA fight in Parliament Gadkari will lead the fight outside.

Arun Jaitley, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said there is a crisis of leadership in the UPA and there is a crisis of credibility. The nation's economic status is in doldrums.

Earlier, Advani welcomed the court vedict in a graft case against former Telcom Minister Sukhram who was in the P V

Narasimha Rao cabinet. "It is the judiciary which is doing better (than the government) in the task of eradicating corruption," he told a gathering in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi.


Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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