Rajnath Raps UPA Govt On Corruption, Black Money
“The UPA government’s stance on key issues like corruption and black money seems to be blinkered and evasive. On the one hand, the government seems to be hesitant in taking any meaningful action on black money as the money trail could lead to many key figures in the Congress party and, on the other hand, it shows no hesitation to order an inhuman and barbaric crackdown on followers of social activists like Baba Ramdev who were peacefully demanding for repatriation of black money,” said former president of BJP Rajnath Singh while addressing a public meeting on the ongoing ‘Brashtachar Hatao Samabesh’ at Barbil in Odisha. Prominent state party leaders including state president Jual Oram, state general secretary Murli Manohar Sharma and others were also present on the occasion. Rajnath Singh was on a two-day visit of the state from June 12 to awaken the people of the state against the misdeeds of the central and state governments.
Expressing his happiness that Baba Ramdev had ended his hunger strike, Rajnath Singh suggested that Baba Ramdev should now reach out to people to spread his message against corruption. Coming down heavily upon the government, he said that there was an unprecedented outrage and revulsion against the clandestine manner in which the UPA government was dealing with issues of corruption and black money. The malady of black money and corruption could be addressed only if “we have larger and wholesome vision. Social activists like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have raised certain legitimate issues which have a wider impact on our society. The government should not shy away from initiating a bigger debate”, which included other relevant aspects like electoral and educational reforms, he added. Questioning whether the government was serious in its intent and commitment, the senior BJP leader remarked that the government should convene a special session of Parliament just after the conclusion of Monsoon Session to discuss and formulate a national policy against black money and corruption, which would serve as a guideline for all incumbent governments.
Since corruption has become a systemic risk to the country, Mr Singh emphasised that the country needed a multi-pronged and time-bound strategy to weed out corruption. Commenting on formation of various committees and sub-committees, Mr Singh said that although the government had constituted many committees, sub-committees and panels, which were expected to give reports in future but without a firm will and an extensive action plan to bring back black money, these committees would be rendered meaningless.
“Under pressure from the opposition parties the UPA government has recently ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) after six years since the Convention came into force in 2005,” he pointed out. Ratification of the UNCAC means that India has agreed on asset-recovery. So Rajnath Singh asserted that asset recovery by the member countries was the most fundamental principle of the UNCAC and the people “are now looking forward to the process of asset recovery”. He demanded the Prime Minister to share the details of his government’s action plan for asset recovery from foreign countries through a White Paper on black money.
Taking the UPA government to task in economic mismanagement, an unassuming Rajnath Singh said that India today was facing a crisis on the economic front, as the spiralling prices of essential commodities had made the survival of the common man extremely difficult. He chided severely the government for the recent hike in petroleum prices, which had dealt a body blow to the common man, as the prices had been increased for the record seventh time in past eleven months. Stating that the government was now all set to increase the prices of diesel, kerosene and domestic LPG once again in this month, he said that it gave a clear indication that the UPA government was looking worried about the profit of petroleum companies, but it had shown no concern for the budget of the common man of the country.
Taking a dig at Odisha government for increasing cases of corruption, Rajnath Singh said that he was deeply concerned over the recent spurt in cases of corruption in Odisha. “Cases like NREGA scam, mining scams, Dal scam, diversion of funds allocated for tribal welfare and many others have surfaced in the recent past. The state government is also busy diverting the flow of rivers in Odisha for industrial purposes which is adversely affecting the people living in the region. The flow of rivers should not be diverted by the government,” he lamented. The senior BJP leader informed that the opposition parties had vociferously raised these issues and even the High Court had directed the government to order inquiry into certain cases, but surprisingly, the Chief Minister Navin Patnaik had dismissed these cases as baseless. Mr Singh advised the CM that he should have avoided such a situation as this blatant refusal to admit corruption in his government had jeopardised his government’s credibility. He warned Patnaik it is high time the Chief Minister himself took initiative to order a CBI inquiry into certain cases.
Emphasising the need to capitalise on US court’s judgment, Mr Singh said that the UPA government’s failure to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attack to justice even after two and a half years emanated from its diplomatic myopia. “When the BJP started its ‘Bharat Suraksha Yatra’ from Puri-Bhubaneswar five years back in 2006, I had forewarned the Centre about the ISI’s deep involvement in abetting and sponsoring anti-India terrorist activities from Pakistan. I had urged the government to undertake diplomatic efforts to put the ISI under international watch,” he said. After the conviction of Tahawwur Rana by a federal jury in Chicago for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) the UPA government has got another chance to put pressure on Pakistan and the ISI. In this backdrop, he suggested the government that it should leverage its status of strategic partner with the USA to expose the nexus between the ISI, LeT and other outfits and put diplomatic pressure on international community to get the ISI declared a terrorist organisation by the United Nations Security Council.
From Barbil, Rajnath proceeded by helicopter to Nilgiri where too he addressed another public meeting. Rajnath Singh then came to Bhubaneswar by road and addressed a press conference there on June 13. In the ongoing ‘Brashtachar Hatao Samabesh’ being conducted by the State Bharatiya Janata Party, 74 assembly constituencies have already been covered. The remaining constituencies too will soon be covered.