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NDA gears up for anti-corruption rally

Source: PTI
December 21, 2010 21:24 IST
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Ahead of its rally in Delhi on Wednesday against corruption, the National Democratic Alliance on Tuesday remained firm on its demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam and asked the government to give up its 'adamant' stand on it as the parliamentary accounts committee has 'limited powers'.

NDA convener Sharad Yadav also downplayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's offer to appear before the PAC, saying that the Opposition had not raised the issue of his being summoned before the Parliamentary committee.

"The JPC means sky is the limit while the PAC has limited powers. JPC is a sort of mini-Parliament which is the only instrument left to deal with the issue of corruption. I still
want the Congress to give up its adamant attitude. It is not good," Yadav said while addressing a press conference.

Claiming that even Congress allies are in support of the JPC, he said that a JPC this time would be a 'balanced' affair as the government does not have a majority in Rajya Sabha.

"Why you are against the setting up of JPC when a provision for this has been made in the Constitution apart from the PAC," he wondered, adding that there were only four months left for the term of the current PAC to be over.

The fear of the government to institute JPC probe only raises suspicion that the government in hell-bent upon saving the corrupt and the so-called probe by central agencies is only an eye-wash, Yadav alleged.

He said all NDA constituents will participate in Wednesday's rally when asked to comment on Shiv Sena's threat to boycott it over Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray's visit to the BJP office in Mumbai on Monday.

"I don't know about this. All the constituents of NDA will be part of the rally. Manohar Joshi has said Anant Gite will be participating in the rally from Shiv Sena," he said.

"I can't say who will come and who will not," he said when asked to give names of other leaders who will participate.

Yadav said efforts were being made to bring non-NDA parties to the rally too, but they could not succeed. However, efforts are still going on in that direction, he added.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking people to fight corruption, Yadav said, "He is talking in a language which suits the opposition leaders, not someone heading the government. Whom are they asking to end corruption when it is their responsibility?"

On the Congress describing the demand for JPC by the Opposition as political, he said, "Yes, it is political because people occupying high political posts are alleged to have been involved in corruption."

"A person sitting on the political post of prime minister has to heed our political demand of JPC," he added.

Noting that the corrupt deserved to be exposed regardless of their political affiliations, Yadav said this was the reason why he had asked Pranab Mukherjee to get the 2G spectrum allocation probed by JPC from 1998 at the first meeting called by the finance minister to end the Parliament logjam over the issue.

"The intention behind this was that corruption, done by anyone, should be exposed. We don't have any objection if the 2G spectrum issue is probed from the period of NDA rule," he said.

He said that the Congress plenary was 'disappointing' as it had failed to address the 'nation's worry'.

"The focus of the entire exercise of Congress during its plenary was on how to escape from setting up JPC on 2G spectrum scam," he said.

Yadav also accused the Congress of diverting the attention of people by making 'non-issues as issues'.

The Janata Dal - United chief claimed that a struggle is on against corruption and price rise from all sides. "Mamata Banerjee is campaigning in West Bengal. Left parties are also going to raise these issues. Chandrababu Naidu went on hunger strike for the cause of farmers."

On the issue of price rise, Yadav said people of the country have fallen victim to spiraling prices because of wrong policies and 'political decision' of the government.

"Those decisions of the government can be probed only by a JPC and the CBI is just not fit for checking the bad politics of the government," he added.

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