BJP intends to raise the issue in the winter session

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani on Friday accused the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre of being “too soft” on black money stashed in foreign banks and demanded that steps be taken to bring back this wealth that could be used for development projects. He said the BJP intended to raise the issue during Parliament's winter session beginning on November 22.

Addressing a press conference here before taking his ‘Jan Chetna Yatra' to the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, Mr. Advani said the dirty money and corruption were responsible for destabilisation of banking institutions and were also indirectly contributing to inflation. He pointed out that though price rise and corruption had been debated in Parliament, the issue of black money was yet to come up.

To seek white paper

“Our party will demand the release of a white paper on black money in the [upcoming] Parliament session and ask the government to reveal the names of holders of foreign bank accounts. These names have been supplied to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover,” said Mr. Advani.

The former Deputy Prime Minister, who entered Rajasthan two days ago on the journey which would culminate on November 20 after touching 23 States and 5 Union Territories, alleged that whatever steps the government had taken to obtain black money were “to protect some people.”

Mr. Advani charged Congress president Sonia Gandhi with being silent on the corruption issue while affirming that she was not doing anything significant to contain it despite being the “most powerful” leader of the UPA government. “Had she asserted her authority in time in an effective manner, much of the public revenue would not have been plundered.”

Asked about corruption at the top levels being revealed in the BJP-ruled States, especially in Karnataka, Mr. Advani said his party was adhering to the principle of no compromise in such matters. He said the BJP did not hesitate in taking prompt action in Karnataka when the allegations of wrongdoings came up. “In contrast, I feel there is an ethical deficit conspicuous in the UPA government,” said the veteran leader while referring to the series of recent scams.

Temple on agenda

Mr. Advani said the Ram temple continued to be on the BJP's agenda and the issue had gained strength from the “unanimous view” taken by the three-Judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court last year that the disputed site was the birthplace of Lord Ram. “The view is to be confirmed by the Supreme Court,” he added.

Asked about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's reported proposal to divide the State into four parts, Mr. Advani said new States should not be formed casually and without wide-ranging consultations.