Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's demand that members from the civil society should also be part of the committee drafting the Lokpal Bill and it need not be the prerogative of Ministers or legislators alone was reasonable, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said here on Thursday.
At a press conference, Mr. Gadkari said, “It is time the United Progressive Alliance government responded positively to his [Hazare's] demand.”
Asked whether the BJP was supporting Mr. Hazare, Mr. Gadkari said: “he has not sought our support.”
To a query on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar quitting the Group of Ministers on corruption, he said: “why Mr. Pawar alone? Almost every Minister in the UPA Cabinet is a Raja . Even the Prime Minister himself is guilty with regard to the appointment of erstwhile Central Vigilance Commissioner.” The BJP had started an agitation against corruption in the UPA government and it had documentary proof also, he said.
On the Supreme Court quashing the allotment of land to the Kushabhau Thakre Trust in Madhya Pradesh, he said: “the land was given only to a charitable trust, which is working for public interest. And it is common that government lands are given to such organisations for a nominal sum. I find nothing wrong [in the allotment]. We will pursue the matter.”
Mr. Gadkari charged the Central government with shielding the “guilty” who had stashed away huge amounts abroad. “It has chosen to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court that revealing their names would affect the national interest. When even small countries could get back the black money, what prevents the Government of India from doing so?” he noted. The BJP leader pointed out that in BJP-ruled States such as Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, special courts were asked to look into complaints of graft against any official-however high or low.
Referring to the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the BJP chief asserted that Mr. Raja was not the only guilty person. “He was operated by some persons and there was even a guide and a mentor.
He said, “Similarly, with regard to the CWG scandal, chairman of its Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi was not the only culprit. The Prime Minister's Office had cleared the files.”
Mr. Gadkari charged the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam with indulging in “vulgar and corrupt politics” and expressed satisfaction over the stringent action taken by the Election Commission to curb money play in the elections .