Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani has accused the Congress of progressively devaluing democratic institutions of the country, including the office of the Prime Minister.

Speaking at the BJP “Janajagruthi Samavesha” here on Saturday, Mr. Advani said the world respected India's democratic traditions and its vibrancy, and the country had assiduously nurtured democracy and democratic institutions. “But the Congress has devalued democratic institutions, including the office of the Prime Minister whose authority has been eroded systematically,” Mr. Advani said.

He rued that even after 63 years of Swarajya or Independence, the country had not attained its objective of Surajya or good governance, and said all political parties were responsible for it but the Congress should take a greater share of the responsibility for the mess.

The rally was held as a show of strength and solidarity to highlight the BJP's achievements in the State, following the Congress padayatra, which highlighted corruption and illegal mining.

Mr. Advani extolled the governance of the BJP-led NDA and said people of India could not forget the six years of A.B. Vajpayee's rule which, he claimed, was marked by good governance and stability, and during which “India emerged as a nuclear power.”

Dwelling on the BJP's performance in the State, Mr. Advani said the party had emerged victorious in all the elections held in Karnataka after it came to power in 2008, and this was a testimony to the good governance being provided by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his Cabinet colleagues.

Reiterating the BJP's stance on probity in public life, Mr. Advani referred to the recent controversy surrounding the resignation of the Lokayukta and said: “I regard the Lokayukta as an important democratic institution in the country and when the Lokayukta chief resigned I had a word of advise for the Chief Minister to address the concerns raised by the office of the Lokayukta.”

“It is a good augury that the Lokayukta took back his resignation and the Chief Minister promised to seriously consider the recommendations of the Lokayukta,” Mr. Advani added.

He lauded Mr. Yeddyurappa for banning export of iron ore from the State to curb illegal mining, and said this should be emulated by other States.

Tracing the rise of the party across the country, Mr. Advani described the 2008 Assembly elections in the State as a major turning point for the BJP, because it emerged as a major power in the South and dispelled the notion that the party was confined to north and west of the country.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member M. Venkaiah Naidu criticised the Congress for its silence on illegal mining and corruption in Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, State BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa, BJP general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar and other party leaders were present.

Keywords: L.K. Advanipolitics

More In: Karnataka | National