Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani said on Thursday that he will launch a "crusade" to mobilise public opinion against corruption on behalf of the National Democratic Alliance. He urged all other political parties, which are united in their demand for the joint parliamentary committee probe in the 2G Spectrum scam, to join hands with him.
On behalf of the opposition, he also appealed to the government to allow Parliament to function for rest of the winter session by conceding the "unanimous" demand for a JPC probe in all cases of corruption, including the 2G scam.
The deadlock in the Parliament continued for the 15th day on Thursday with the opposition disrupting proceedings over JPC demand, but Advani insisted, "It would be wrong to say we want to obstruct business."
He blamed the government for the stalemate in Parliament by remaining "indifferent to the problem of corruption. "The government is not at all serious about curbing corruption. It is this attitude that must be fought as it is corrupting the society and affecting governance as a whole," he added.
Without spelling out when the crusade will be launched, he said it would be in the form of public rallies and meetings all across India.
Asked if the Parliament impasse will spill over to the budget session, Adavani, "All depends on the government. It has not succeeded in convincing anyone in the opposition why there should be no JPC."
Clarifying that he did not underrate the public accounts committee headed by BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi, the party patriarch said, "The scams undermining the democratic system are multi-dimensional and cannot come under the PAC's purview. Some may overlap with the PAC, but there is nothing new or extraordinary about the limited overlap between two different parliamentary committees."
Advani wondered how the PAC could handle the latest "Radiagate" which involved a corporate lobbyist trying to negotiate ministerial berths.
Pointing out that the corruption reared its ugly head even among the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Bureau of Investigation, which were responsible for investigation in the scams, he said, " Only a JPC can do justice through a thorough probe and bring the guilty to book."
"When investigating agencies have been compromised, the magnitude of the scams is unprecedented. Cover-ups have taken place at the behest of the high authorities in the government. Institutions vital for the effective functioning of the democracy are under cloud. The Parliament cannot abdicate its responsibility and say it will not investigate into the matter," he added.
Advani also came down heavily on the Union government for appointing P J Thomas as the Chief Central Vigilance Commissioner.
"The CVC is the internal vigilance authority of the government. The appointment of its chief has completely demolished the credibility of the CVC as an institution. A person chargesheeted in a corruption case, who attempted to deny the CVC and CAG its authority to question the impropriety in the 2G spectrum allotment, was appointed as its head. His appointment was questioned first during the meeting of the appointing collegium by the Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha), thereafter in the media and subsequently before the Supreme Court," he said.
When asked about why the opposition is not bringing a no-confidence motion against the government, Advani said, "Every MP would like to serve his term and not forced into another election so soon through such a motion.
With inputs from Onkar Singh