Taking the attack on the ruling dispensation a notch further, the BJP on Tuesday accused the Prime Minister of leading the “most corrupt” government in the country’s history and said the UPA II has little idea on how to deal with the various problems plaguing the country.
“People say he (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh) is personally honest.... It is a strange honesty that he leads the most corrupt government in India since 1947,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Mr. Jaitley said here.
Charging the Congress-led government with “perverting” all institutions, he said despite protests by BJP, P.J. Thomas, who is accused of corruption, was appointed as the Central Vigilance Commissioner.
“Now he hangs around the neck of the government as an albatross.... If he resigns then government will get some reprieve. But if he does not, then Prime Minister will be accused of encouraging corruption,” he said delivering a talk on issues like corruption in Bofors gun deal and 2G spectrum at the Delhi BJP headquarters.
Mr. Jaitley said the CBI could not get justice “for teenagers Ruchika and Aarushi as it was focusing all its energies in framing cases against political rivals of the ruling coalition“.
Referring to the alleged kickbacks in the Bofors gun deal, he said the recent Income Tax Appellate Tribunal order proved that the issue leads to the doorsteps of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“What is the reason that a 24-year-old contract (to buy Bofors howitzers for Army) continues to follow Congress leaders. The reason is very clear, that it is the only corruption case in the country which leads to the doorsteps of the Prime Minister,” he said.
The BJP leader later clarified that he was referring to the “then Prime Minister”.
Mr. Jaitley said the government had little idea on how to deal with naxalism, inflation and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and termed the “inability” to check price rise as the Prime Minister’s “biggest failure“.
“Prices of onions and tomatoes are not coming down, interest rates have been increased six times which is having a bad effect on the stock market.... We have a Prime Minister who is also an economist. But in the last three years he did not have any solution to deal with it. It is his biggest failure,” he said.
He claimed that two-third of the money provided to UPA’s flagship MNREGA does not reach the poor man. “But the money is being spent. What would you call it -- social expenditure or political expenditure,” he asked.
Mr. Jaitley claimed Home Minister P. Chidambaram had presented himself as a “General” in the fight against Maoists. .
“But after that Congress leader Digvijay said something and Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote something (in party mouthpiece). After that Chidambaram left the battle against Maoists and now he says it is upto the state to deal with them and the Centre will provide them weapons and equipment,” he said.
He claimed that while most governments begin with a “honeymoon period” and face revulsion in the fag end of their term, UPA began its term with the “revulsion situation” where people had started disliking its approach from the very beginning.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Mr. Jaitley recalled an advertisement punch line which said ‘whenever you think of colour, think of us’
“With Congress, it goes like whenever you see corrupt, think of us. Whenever Congress leaders see corrupt, they have a sense of affinity for him,” he said.