At a time when two union ministers and the Rajasthan CM are facing charges of conflict of interest and impropriety, party veteran L K Advani on Saturday was reported to have said in an interview that political credibility was essential, and politicians must live up to the trust placed in them by voters.
Asked about his resignation from the Lok Sabha in 1996 after he was charged by the CBI in the hawala case, Advani told the ABP group: “I don’t have any regrets that I couldn’t contest the election for two years… The decision to quit was mine. I feel political credibility is essential. People vote for us and we have to live up to their trust. In my life, I have always listened to my conscience.”
Advani added that he had quit even though his colleague A B Vajpayee had asked him not to.
“But I knew I had done nothing wrong… so I had no fear of anything. At that time, Narasimha Rao’s (Congress) government was trying to drag my name into the issue,” Advani was quoted as saying.
He then added that he was satisfied with whatever he had done in life and that, since the days of his association with the RSS and the erstwhile Jana Sangh, he had learnt that a corruption-free life was the BJP’s biggest strength.
The reported remarks come at a time when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje are facing calls to resign for their links to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who is facing a number of investigations related to alleged financial irregularities.
Last week, the Delhi High Court admitted a plea against HRD Minister Smriti Irani for allegedly misrepresenting her educational qualifications.
Asked about the controversies surrounding Swaraj and Raje, however, Advani said: “I don’t have any information about them, so I have nothing to say. I can talk about myself.”
Advani staged a political comeback in 1998 after the Supreme Court dismissed the CBI’s appeal in the hawala case on the grounds that there was no independent evidence to indicate that the payments allegedly involved were actually received by the “recipients”.
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