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The PM is hiding something, says NDA

Last updated on: December 22, 2010 18:10 IST

The PM is hiding something, says NDA

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In a show of strength for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance opposition, nearly 20,000 supporters and top leaders of the coalition thronged the Ram Lila grounds in central Delhi on Wednesday, to protest the price rise and press for their demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe in the 2G scam.

The massive rally is aimed at cornering the Congress party, which is in the midst of a series of corruption scandals and surging inflation. The opposition coalition's rally comes right after they successfully stalled the winter session of Parliament over the demand for a JPC.

Waving saffron flags and sporting anti-corruption placards, BJP supporters turned up in huge numbers at the ground. Some of the BJP supporters, mostly women and children, wore garlands of onions as a show of protest against the sharp rise in onion prices, which touched Rs 80 per kilo today.

"Onions cost Rs 60-70 a kilo even in wholesale markets. In my area, the local vendors are selling it for Rs 80 a kilo, with some of them saying that it will be Rs 100 a kilo before the weekend. What will the common man do," demanded Aarti Bhaduriya, a BJP supporter from Laxmi Nagar.

Reportage: Sahim Salim


Image: NDA leaders during a protest in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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'The prime minister is not really weak'

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"The government has failed on all fronts. So many scams have come to the fore. The government has not been able to put in place an effective machinery to curb these practices, which have been reported at the highest levels. Prices of basic food commodities are only increasing, due to which the common man is not able to afford basic items," said Jatin Singh from east Delhi's Dilshad Colony.

Leaders from the NDA alliance targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and even demanded his resignation for not heeding to their demand for a JPC.

"We demand that the prime minister order a JPC into the 2G scam, as he has the power to do so. If he can consent to appear in front of the Public Accounts Committee, why can't he order a JPC probe? The prime minister only seems weak, he is not really weak," BJP leader L K Advani said.

Terming the rally as a "movement against corruption", Advani warned that the two-month long demonstration will finish the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance.


Image: A BJP supporter wears a garland made of onions
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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'The prime minister cannot claim to be innocent'

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"These are some serious scams. The prime minister should heed the demands of the opposition and the common man and order a JPC. Before the next session of Parliament, we will be carrying out rallies across the country -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh," Advani said.

Alleging that the reason the prime minister is not ordering a JPC into the 2G scam is because he has 'something to hide', BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said that the prime minister cannot 'escape responsibility'.

"Why is the UPA government and the prime minister not agreeing to a JPC probe? They don't want to face the members of opposition because they have something to hide. The prime minister cannot claim to be innocent, when there is such incessant corruption taking place right under his nose," Swaraj said.

Swaraj also said that she had conveyed her reservations to the PM on appointing PJ Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

The Opposition also raked up other corruption scams, with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari blaming the prime minister personally for the extravagant expenditure during the Commonwealth Games.

The NDA has stated that it will organise 12 such rallies before the next session of Parliament.


Image: NDA supporters protest in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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