In a stinging attack on BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi today charged the principal opposition with ignoring corruption in states ruled by it and blocking passage of six anti-graft bills by Parliament.
Puncturing BJP's anti-corruption campaign against the UPA government, Gandhi said, "their leader (Modi) is travelling across India and talking about eradicating corruption." "But does he (Modi) see their leaders in Karnataka indulging in corruption. He doesn't see that their party's then CM (B S Yeddyurappa) was jailed on corruption charges. He doesn't even see 16 of their ministers (in Karnataka) had to resign (on graft issue)," he said at 'Bharat Nirman" rally here.
Gandhi said, "he (Modi) does not see corruption in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka." "In Karnataka, you people removed BJP from power due to corruption. Thereafter, the then CM has again come back to BJP, but their leaders ignore this," he said, referring to Yeddyurappa's readmission into BJP after merger of his Karnataka Janata Paksha with it recently.
Gandhi said BJP leaders see corruption in only Congress-ruled states, adding,"they don't see it anywhere else."
"Even if corruption takes place in Gujarat, they ignore it," he said, in a dig at Modi. "Wherever they do not have their governments,they see corruption taking place." Gandhi also attacked BJP for "blocking" passage of six anti-graft bills, which form part of government's anti-corruption framework and for whose passage he is pushing aggressively. "Who is standing against those bills? We want to pass them. We are being stopped in Parliament. Who is stopping it? BJP is stopping it. They don't allow functioning of Parliament," Gandhi said.
"Today in Parliament six anti-graft bills are pending.
The bills which are of help to you. The bills that give power to you," the Congress Vice-President said.
Pushing for creating a framework to fight graft, Gandhi had recently appealed to Opposition parties to support the passage of six bills in the ongoing Parliament session, whose functioning has been stalled over Telangana and other issues.
The draft of six legislations Gandhi has been laying thrust are the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011, the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and the Public Procurement Bill, 2012.
In his speech that centred around BJP and corruption, he also said the previous government was "not Karnataka government, but Bellary government."
Gandhi was apparently referring to the Reddy brothers (Janardhana and Karunakara), the mining barons from mine-rich Bellary district who were then accused of maintaining vice-like grip over the BJP government.
"The whole state was handed over to the hands of Bellary (mining barons) and women and youth were ignored. They (BJP) ran the government not in the interest of women and youth of the state but to loot it. This is the way they ran the government and today they travel across the country and say that they are against corruption."
Gandhi also hit out at BJP for its talk about IT.
He said IT succeeded in Karnataka because "we utilised everyone's potential. We helped poor, businesses and together we did miracle in IT sector in Karnataka." "Now BJP talks about taking India to the level of making it IT superpower, but it was the Congress, poor people and youth of Karnataka who did it. This did not happen in one day, but it took sixty years."
Those BJP leaders who were against introducing computers in India, were now talking about doing a miracle in India. "They forget that IT was developed by the people, Congress, S M Krishna (former Chief Minister) and Rajiv Gandhi."