Even as the Joint Committee has begun discussions on a new Lokpal bill, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani on Sunday said the United Progressive Alliance government’s “sincerity” in tackling corruption would be visible only through the actions taken by it in scams like the 2G and CWG.
“Even before Parliament meets for its monsoon session and takes up the Lokpal Bill being considered by the Committee secured by Anna Hazare, the real test of Government’s sincerity about tackling corruption will be what action it takes about the three scams,” he wrote in his blog.
The three scams include the 2G Spectrum Scam, the Commonwealth Games scam and the Mumbai Defence Land (Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society) scam, he said.
The Joint Committee of Ministers and members from civil society met here yesterday and hoped that the new law will be brought in monsoon session of Parliament.
Observing that the country was “really angry” over corruption, Mr. Advani said it is generally accepted that corruption prevails not because of a lack of necessary laws, but because those in the establishment lack the will to punish the scamsters.
Attacking the Government for not doing much to bring back the black money stashed abroad, the BJP leader said, “another sore point with the masses is that in recent years while western countries like the US and Germany have succeeded in penetrating into the banking secrecy laws of tax havens like Switzerland and getting back their own wealth, Government of India has made no earnest efforts in this regard.”
“It has not even ratified the UN Convention against Corruption adopted in 2004. The enormous amount of black money stashed abroad by Indians must be brought back without delay,” he added.
In his blog, Mr. Advani also praised the The Hindu for publishing India-related leaked American diplomatic cables.
Mr. Advani said he found the remarks made by Wikileaks editor Julian Assange about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as to be “highly uncomplimentary”.
Mr. Assange had said that though he didn’t have proof but it seemed that the Indian Prime Minister was not personally corrupt but “here’s a clear attempt to cover up for the possible corruption of other people.”
The remarks were made by him in an interview carried by The Hindu where he was asked to react on Prime Minister Singh questioning the authenticity of the leaked American diplomatic cables.