Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said here on Saturday that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's decision to concede the demand for a joint panel to draft an effective Lokpal Bill and its assurance that the Bill would be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament following the campaign launched by social activist Anna Hazare against corruption represented a victory of the people of India.
Addressing an election rally of the BJP here on Saturday, Mr. Advani compared the UPA government's decision to form the joint panel to draft the Lokpal Bill to its earlier decision to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to inquire into the 2G spectrum corruption scandal. In both the cases, the UPA government initially rejected the demands and later conceded under pressure, he said adding that both represented the victory of the people of the country.
“April 9 will remain significant in the history of the country as on this day the people's campaign against corruption had yielded positive results,” Mr. Advani said referring to the campaign launched by Mr. Hazare. Mr. Advani said that as a political activist who had participated in every single Parliament election since 1952 and as a person with an insider view of all the government's at the Centre beginning with the government led by Jawaharlal Nehru, he could say with certainty that the government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the most corrupt.
Observing that Dr. Singh had failed as an economist, the BJP leader said the Prime Minister was not able to contain price rise. During the six-year rule of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee, prices were kept under control in spite of financial constraints forced upon the country following economic sanctions in the wake of Pokhran-II. The NDA rule was not marred by cases of corruption and scandals, he added.
Mr. Advani said Dr. Singh was presiding over a government that was the most corrupt one since Independence. People should not forget how the first UPA government had encountered the situation when it was forced to seek a confidence vote in Parliament after the Left parties withdrew their support in protest against the government's decision to sign the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in 2008. Dr. Singh's government not only bought MPs but also flaunted to U.S. officials how they were buying the MPs, he said referring to a disclosure in one of
the U.S. cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks. He said The Hindu had done a great service to the country by publishing the