The silence by Congress top brass at the All India Congress Committee session on Tuesday on scams involving party leaders fuelled a war of words with the Bharatiya Janata Party asking whether it was "completely neutral" to corruption and the Congress saying this issue does not have to be reminded by everyone.
The BJP seized on the silence maintained by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi over Mumbai housing and Commonwealth Games scams in their addresses when they skirted these issues to taunt the Congress.
Both Suresh Kalmadi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan who were linked to the two scams were present at the meet held at the Talkatora Stadium. "Is the Congress indifferent to corruption and has become completely neutral to corruption," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman asked at her daily news briefing.
Sitharaman said the BJP is surprised why none of the Congress leaders uttered a "word" on corruption and did not voice outrage at the recent scams. "It is not a party disciplinary matter. It is a question of national interest," Sitharaman said, wondering why the Congress leadership was not acting on the resignation offered by Chavan in the wake of the Adarsh Housing Society controversy.
But the Congress sought to explain the silence of the party leadership on corruption at the AICC session with senior leader Digvijay Singh saying there is no need to flag the issue at every event.
"Corruption is definitely an issue but it does not have to be reminded by everyone," Singh said, adding action is being taken regarding CWG and Mumbai housing scams.
When asked by newsmen why there was no mention of corruption and scams at the AICC session, Digvijay Singh said Congress has got a code of ethics which is being followed. "One does not have to repeat all these things every time, every speech," he said.
Singh said appropriate action has been taken regarding CWG. "All charges of corruption are being enquired into by the highest body and you will have to wait for that now," he added.
Regarding the Mumbai housing scam, Singh said whether corruption or some kind of nepotism is involved action will be taken after due diligence by the Congress' high-level two-member panel.
Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj alleged that the Congress was making deliberate attempts to divert the people's attention from major scams like in Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum deal under the cover of the Adarsh controversy and said the NDA would raise these issues in Parliament.
"Deliberate attempts are being made to divert the people's attention from the major scams under the cover of the Adarsh Colony Scam", Swaraj told reporters in Patna, She also demanded that the resignation tendered by the Maharshtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan be accepted without any delay.