Saturday, July 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP accuses Amarinder of selective morality
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 5
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today took strong exception to recent transfers of certain key officials involved in investigations of cases of corruption in Punjab saying that state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should realise that fight against corruption “cannot be carried on the basis of selective morality”.

Addressing mediapersons, BJP spokesman Arun Jaitley said the transfers of key police and intelligence officials on the eve of certain major breakthroughs in the investigation were setback to the purported campaign against corruption.

Earlier adopting a cautious approach on the FIR filed against MDMK chief P.M. Vaiko by the Tamil Nadu Government, Mr Jaitley said his remarks had to be seen in the context in which they were made and whether they warranted action under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

“We are only giving our opinion on the subject and the statement has to be seen in the context in which it has been made. However, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani has said he has sought a report from the state government on this issue”, he said adding that a copy of Mr Vaiko’s statement was with him.

Mr Vaiko had only supported Sri Lankan Tamils and not LTTE’s actions.

Mr Jaitley said the BJP was of the view that mere statement of the MDMK leader in itself without any other fact did not warrant the use of POTA.

The spokesman was reacting to the MDMK leader’s recent statement in which he is supposed to have expressed his support to the LTTE.

Mr Jaitley said the NDA government’s stand on the LTTE was clear. It was a terrorist organisation and that was why the NDA government had extended the ban on the Tamil Tigers. The question of supporting it did not arise, he said.

On the issue of demolition of a mosque in Ahmedabad, Mr Jaitley said it seemed to be more of an internal matter of the Congress.

The Congress was in control of the municipal corporation of Ahmedabad and some Congress corporators had resigned in protest against the demolition of the mosque, others continued to hold positions, the spokesman said.

When asked if the BJP would go for consensus on the issue of the country’s next Vice-President, Mr Jaitley said while earlier some parties opted to go the other way when a consensus was about to be evolved over the presidential candidate, now they were talking about consensus.

The BJP would welcome a consensus if it was evolved, he said.

The BJP said the conviction of former Communications Minister Sukh Ram was a case of “individual culpability” and stood by its stand that the law should take its own course.

Asked whether this was not embarrassing for the party as Mr Sukh Ram was a partner in the NDA, the spokesman said: “At no stage has BJP or NDA government interfered in the due process of law. The case was before he joined the NDA and, therefore, it was for the NDA to decide on what steps to take in this regard.”

Sukh Ram was convicted today and sentenced to three-year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 2 lakh by a Delhi court which found him guilty of causing a loss of about Rs 1.68 crore to the government in the award of equipment contract to a private firm.

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