Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani has demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh step down and seek a fresh mandate from the people.
Speaking at a party workers' meeting here on Sunday, Mr. Advani said the people had lost faith in the Congress-led UPA government after the 2G spectrum scam and allegations of black money. The common man could not lead a happy life due to high inflation. “Even in villages people are talking about corruption, scams and the money stacked in Swiss banks. Dr. Singh has not contested elections directly till now. At least now, the Prime Minister should quit the post and contest elections,” Mr. Advani said.
Attacking UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister, the BJP leader said both were responsible for the scams. The Prime Minister had defended the corrupt Ministers, including the former Union Telecommunications Minister, A. Raja, and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi.
Blaming the Congress for bribing MPs to protect the government when the Left parties withdrew support in 2008 over the nuclear deal with the U.S., Mr. Advani said the Supreme Court had taken up investigation in the cash-for-votes case and hoped the culprits would be booked soon.
Even as WikiLeaks highlighted the scams with evidence and the same was published in The Hindu, the UPA government dismissed them as baseless allegations.
Recalling the sacrifices of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the party, Mr. Advani explained to the party activists how the founder-president of the Sangh, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, sacrificed his life for integrating Jammu and Kashmir with India.
Only after the death of Dr. Mookerjee in June 1953, Jammu and Kashmir was integrated with India and the jurisdiction of the President, the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India extended up to Jammu and Kashmir. But now, some parties were trying to restore the pre-1953 situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the BJP would not allow it to happen under any circumstances, Mr. Advani said.
He called upon the party workers to work hard and try to bring the BJP back in power for good governance. In the evening, Mr. Advani participated in the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Swarna Bharat Trust at Venkatachalam village in the district.
Among others who attended the meeting were BJP MP M. Venkaiah Naidu, leaders Bandaru Dattatreya, K. Hari Babu and Tamil Nadu party State president P. Radhakrishna.