What's the use of PM's honesty, asks Advani
As Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advanis 'yatra' reached the UP-Bihar border, he launched a sharp attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging he is presiding over the "worst and most corrupt government of independent India".
Listing a series of alleged scams during the rule of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Advani said, "However the cash-for-votes scam is the most terrifying of all".
Targetting Manmohan Singh, Advani said when he had assumed prime ministership, there was a perception that Singh was honest and there would be no scams in his rule. However, it was during this government that MPs were offered cash for votes and then the whistleblowers were sent to jail, Advani said.
"Of what use is Manmohan Singh's honesty"? Advani told a gathering in Buxar.
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'This govt will pay for its acts'
Advani reiterated the United Progressive Alliance government did not seem stable. Though the term of this government is till 2014, but I don't know.
"Two ministers of the government are speaking against each other", he said in an apparent reference to the standoff between Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram on 2G spectrum issue.
Advani claimed that during the Emergency days the government of the day had paid the price for jailing leaders like Jayaprakash Narain, Morarji Desai and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
This government will also pay for its acts, Advani said. Corruption, inflation and black money were the three issues on his agenda, Advani said.
Image: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram at a function in New Delhi
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
'India had lost $213 billion to illegal financial flows'
Advani's yatra reached Buxar behind schedule and he was the only speaker who spoke unlike in other rallies where an array of BJP leaders would address the gathering before him.
It was also in Buxar that a group of men waved black flags against Advani's yatra. Shouting Advani, go back, a dozen of men did not give any reasons for their protest.
Elsewhere groups of school children formed chains to watch the caravan of vehicles to pass by. Before Buxar, Advani had addressed another rally in Arrah where he said that by bringing back black money, the country could solve problems related to lack of development.
Wednesday is the second and last day for Advani's yatra in Bihar, a state in which his party shares power with Janata Dal -United. Party functionaries said that the smooth start had set the standard for other state units as well.
Advani started the day by talking about estimates of inflation. Showing a book he had downloaded from the Internet, "Capitalisms Achilles Heel" by Raymond Baker Advani said there were different estimates of Indian money in Swiss and other foreign banks.
According to Global Financial Integrity report, an International think-tank from 1948 to 2008 India had lost $ 213 billion to illegal financial flows, he said.
Advani claimed the present estimates of India's wealth as per an estimate he considered most accurate was $462 billion or approximately Rs 25,00,000 crores.
Estimates given by Swiss banks themselves put the figure at $ 1. 4 trillion with India topping the list followed by Russia, the UK and then China. This time it is 13 times the entire national debt of India and it is increasing every year, he added.