The Congress on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “hypocrisy” in fighting corruption and alleged that his government is systematically weakening anti-corruption laws made under the previous UPA regime. Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the prime minister’s slogan of corruption-free governance has turned hollow and asked him to take action against leaders of the BJP in various states who are embroiled in various scams.
“We urge the prime minister to stop the sermons and take action against corruption. Start by cleaning up your own house,” he said. Singhvi said though the prime minister came to power with the slogan of “Na khaoonga, na khaane doonga” (Neither will I indulge in corruption nor allow anyone else to do so) but his track record is exactly the opposite.
“His government has a terrible track record of systematically crippling the anti-corruption legislations that the UPA government had set up. For three years, the nation is asking ‘Where is the Lok Pal? Why is the PM protecting the corrupt?” he said.
Singhvi also said that the prime minister’s “deafening silence” and lack of action on the numerous scams involving the BJP in states and the Centre are for all to see, even as he cited various alleged scams like the Vyapam, GSPC, Lalit Modi, and the paddy scams.
“Our democracy is being taken for a ride. The Congress and the people of India will resist and not rest till the PM matches his words with actual action. End the hypocrisy, Mr Prime Minister,” he said, adding that the Modi government’s promise to fight corruption is “plain political gimmickry”.
The Congress leader also claimed that 31 per cent of BJP ministers have criminal cases against them and 18 per cent of them face serious criminal charges like attempt to murder, murder, rape, kidnapping and crimes against women.
The Congress also released a white paper titled ‘The Systematic Crippling of Anti-Corruption Laws by Modi Sarkar’ and a state-wise list of alleged BJP involvement in scams and criminal cases against BJP MPs. Singhvi cited the example of Whistleblowers Protection Act which has been weakened by introducing a requirement that information released must first be obtained using RTI.
He said the Prevention of Corruption Act has been weakened by making it easy to prosecute a coerced bribe giver but extremely difficult to prosecute a bribe taker. The Congress leader said the Right to Information Act has also been eroded and the introduction of electoral bonds is a part of an elaborate scheme to smother accountability and transparency.
He alleged by employing methods of coercion, intimidation, misuse of state agencies and money power, the BJP has “stolen” the mandate of the people in Goa and Manipur while its “corrupt” practices to lure MLAs were foiled in Gujarat recently.