Congress leader and AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attempted to seize control of the anti-corruption platform in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls by accusing Narendra Modi and the BJP of blocking six legislations in parliament that are intended to address the corruption issue in the country.
At a Bharat Nirman rally in the northern Karnataka town of Belgaum, where the BJP has been dominant in the past, Rahul Gandhi accused Narendra Modi of not seeing the corruption in his own party and his own state despite travelling around the country “talking about eradicating corruption”.
He referred indirectly to the re-induction of former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa into the BJP by Modi despite the corruption charges that forced him to quit in 2011 still pending.
“There are six anti-corruption bills pending passage in Parliament. The bills are meant to empower common people. Who is blocking these bills? We want to pass them. BJP is stopping it. They don’t allow the functioning of Parliament,” Rahul Gandhi said in a reference to six pending anti-graft bills in parliament.
The Congress vice-president was alluding to the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, and the Public Procurement Bill.
“Does he see the corruption involving his party leaders in Karnataka? He is blind to the jailing of the party’s former chief minister for corruption. He does not see that 16 of their ministers had to resign,” Gandhi said, while referring to the corruption of the erstwhile BJP government in Karnataka.
The Congress leader said the BJP was blind to corruption in the states while the party has been in power including Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka but were constantly pointing the corruption in Congress-ruled states. “Wherever they are not in government, they see corruption,” Gandhi said.
“They only talk but we bring progress,’’ he said, while holding up the Right To Information Act and the Lokpal Bill as examples of Congress efforts at bringing transparency into governance. “What happens behind closed doors is known today because of RTI. Who brought the Lokpal Bill? BJP did not bring it, Congress did,” he said.