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Updated: January 9, 2011 03:01 IST

BJP to focus on corruption

Neena Vyas
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BJP president Nitin Gadkari (second from right) and senior party leaders (from left) Arun Jaitley, L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj light a lamp during the party's national executive in Guwahati on Saturday.
PTI BJP president Nitin Gadkari (second from right) and senior party leaders (from left) Arun Jaitley, L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj light a lamp during the party's national executive in Guwahati on Saturday.

National executive meet begins in Guwahati

The Bharatiya Janata Party seems to have made up its mind to target the Congress party's First Family in its no-holds barred tirade against corruption, although it may shy away from naming Sonia Gandhi.

At the same time, not forgetting the Ram temple, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, in his opening address to the national executive committee meeting here on Saturday, appealed to Muslims to give up all claim on the site in Ayodhya where the Babri Masjid stood till 1992, notwithstanding the Allahabad High Court verdict giving the Sunni Wakq Board one-third of the disputed land.

Describing the second tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government as a “Kingdom of Corruption,” Mr. Gadkari said the magnitude of the total loss to the exchequer was unimaginable. “While looters were emptying the government coffers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was standing guard with his eyes closed, and perhaps, his hands tied.”

However, it was in the draft political resolution that the party toyed with the idea of directly mentioning the Congress First Family. Between 1984 and 1989, Rajiv Gandhi, the draft resolution said, started as Mr. Clean and transformed into Mr. Disaster. It was not yet clear whether some changes would be made in the draft when the national executive committee discussed the resolution.

What was certain was that many in the party wanted the resolution to directly attack Ms. Gandhi, though some senior leaders were resisting that idea, wary lest such an attack backfire politically. The Income Tax Tribunal order talking about kickbacks in the Bofors deal was mentioned by Mr. Gadkari, as was the role played by Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi the case against whom the CBI wanted to close. Party leaders were hoping that even if the BJP did not mention Ms. Gandhi directly, the people would make the connection through Mr. Quattrocchi.

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