Corruption is like addiction to narcotics; it is continuing in the present regime: Sharad Yadav

The Opposition parties continued their tirade against the UPA-II government for the second day on Wednesday on a host of issues like price rise, inflation, rampant corruption and Maoist threats.

Participating in the Motion of Thanks for the President's address, Janata Dal (United) member Sharad Yadav, referring to the 2G spectrum allocation scam, said that Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, a lawyer, was treating the nation like a “legal chamber” by describing the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) on the issue as utterly erroneous.

“Corruption is like addiction to narcotic substances. It is not going away but continuing in the present regime,” Mr. Yadav said, recalling the spurt in corruption cases like the 2G, the Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh Housing Society scams in recent times.

On the President's address, he said it was full of “empty promises” and even contained wrong facts like pulses being included in the public distribution system.

The former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) member H.D. Deve Gowda raised the issue of corruption and also referred to the charges of a “land scam” against Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

“If corruption can be tolerated in Karnataka and Maharashtra, why not in Delhi?” he said, wondering how the BJP could take the moral high ground on the issue when its own Chief Minister was indulging in scam after scam in Karnataka.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) floor-leader Basudeb Acharia said the President's address was just a repetition of what was mentioned last year on many subjects.

“Crony capitalism and corruption are increasing alarmingly,” he said, adding that big industrial establishments and corporates were able to dictate to the government on policy matters.

On inflation and price rise, Mr. Acharia said the government had no political will to tackle the issues. He alleged that in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress was “hand-in-glove” with the Maoists.

The DMK's Adhi Sankar urged the Centre to see that judicial over-activism was curtailed and attach high priority to improve the delivery of justice.

Without naming anyone, he wanted to know how a one-man party's leader had single-handedly stalled the construction of the Sethusamudram project for which several crores of rupees had already been spent.

“Is it not a national waste? I cannot understand how this single person alone can get so much of importance from all the judicial forums,” he said.

Mr. Sankar added that when really important matters were crying for attention, the courts seemed to be carried away by the theatrics of certain political persons.

M. Thambidurai of the AIADMK alleged that a party which had gained crores through the 2G scam was trying to use “money power” to win in the coming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.

He alleged that the party, which was also known for using “muscle power” in the elections, should not be given another chance, and that the Centre and the Election Commission should keep a watch on the party on these two issues.

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