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BJP Conclave in Guwahati
CAG-bashing a ploy to save Raja, says BJP
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, January 8
The BJP today slammed Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal for his stand that there was no loss at all on account of the controversial 2G Spectrum allocation after debunking CAG estimates of a Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss. The party also criticised the Prime Minister’s “stubborn opposition” to the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the scam.

Hitting out at Sibal, Murli Manohar Joshi, senior party leader and chief of the Public Accounts Committee which is probing the scam, said: “The Telecom Minister’s stand is improper and demonstrates his very casual approach. The CAG has never said that it is the exact amount. Sibal should have read the report carefully.” Joshi made these remarks at Guwahati where the BJP national executive meet is on. He was reacting to the Telecom Minister’s contention that the presumptive losses projected by the CAG were “erroneous”. Joshi noted that the CAG has always maintained that the loss figures were presumptive and never said the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore was final.

Flaying Sibal, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The frontal attack on the CAG is designed to save former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G Spectrum scam.”

“How could he (Sibal) condemn a statutory body like the CAG? His unwarranted comments have sought to over-reach parliamentary process when the PAC is looking into it,” he added.

Earlier, inaugurating the two-day meeting, held for the first time in the North-East, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari said, “The Congress-led UPA Government is presiding over an empire of corruption. It has a very poor track record of fighting terror while its wrong policies have resulted in an unprecedented price rise.”

“Everyday the nation wakes up to a new scam. People are asking why is the Congress shying away from the JPC probe into the 2G scam? What is it afraid of? There is definitely something to hide,” Gadkari said during the meeting that saw presence of party stalwarts, including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and others.

“If the PM is so confident that he is not guilty, why should he be so stubborn in opposing the legitimate demand for a JPC probe? This stubbornness is reminiscent of the pre-Emergency days. The BJP condemns this approach. It is this stubbornness that has led to the logjam in the Parliament,” Gadkari said.

Taking a dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said, “Sermons, declaration of multi-point programmes and empty appeals to political functionaries will make no impact.”

Dismissing the Congress’ tirade against ‘saffron terror’, the BJP chief claimed: “Within the Congress, there are elements who hobnob with the Naxals, pamper those who see India as an encroacher in Jammu and Kashmir and try to play with the sensibilities of majority community by blowing up the threat of peripheral groups to rake up the so called Hindu terrorism.”

“When the entire nation is expecting the government to expedite the hanging of Afzal Guru who has been convicted in the Parliament attack case, the UPA has set his associate Shaukat Guru free, almost one year before he completes his jail term, for good conduct. This is a case of utter disregard for public opinion,” Gadkari claimed.

He hailed the overwhelming victory tasted by the party in the recent Bihar election and commented that the verdict had stirred and inspired the workers all over the country and there was a wide belief that in 2014, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) would form the government.

Gadkari rakes up Ram mandir

In its first national executive meeting after the Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya title suit, the BJP on Saturday reiterated its desire to see a Ram temple constructed at the site. “We have already welcomed this judgment and we do hope that all sections of the society will now help make a grand Ram mandir at Ayodhya,” he said. Later, talking to them media, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad refuted that the party was trying to rake up the Ram temple issue with an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections in five states-Assam, West Bengal, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

“For the BJP, Ram mandir is not going to be an election issue though the party desires that a Ram temple should be constructed at Ayodhya with cooperation from all sections of the society,” Prasad said.

(with PTI inputs)





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