Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, on Saturday, called upon the Central government to bring back black money stashed away abroad by Indians, and use it for the development of rural India.

He was addressing a public meeting here on Saturday organised as part of his 38-day ‘Jan Chetna Yatra,' an anti-corruption campaign touring the country.

“Three years ago, the BJP had set up a task force headed by R. Vaidyanathan [(of the Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore)] to conduct a study of the how much money may have been stashed abroad by Indians. The task force approximated that nearly Rs. 25 lakh crore was stored in western banks. My suggestion to the government will be to invest this wealth in the villages of India. There are nearly 6 lakh villages in the country, most of which lack elementary facilities. If this wealth were to be used in these villages, not a single one would remain without electricity, drinking water, schools, hospitals, and roads.” he said.

Mr. Advani asserted that the yatra was not intended to topple governments, but to urge the common man not to make compromises with corruption.

India is not corrupt

Later, addressing a gathering at Pandalam, the BJP leader said that India was a not a land of corruption. “The government and certain people may be corrupt, but the country can never be termed corrupt. ‘We do not give bribe to anyone and we do not take bribe from anyone' is the slogan raised throughout the yatra,” he said.

The BJP leader said that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's failure to deliver had led to people losing faith in the political system. “The poor are becoming poorer. Food has become costlier. Corruption is hurting the country badly,” he said. “Though we got ‘swaraj' we grossly lack ‘suraj' or good governance even 64 years after Independence,” he added.

On 2G scam

At a public meeting in Kottarakara, Mr. Advani said that though the Congress had punished its UPA allies involved in the 2G spectrum scam, the party was not particular about punishing Congressmen who had links with the scam. He alleged that the Congress was trying to put the entire blame of the 2G scam on its allies.