Shatrughan Sinha attacks BJP leadership for paying “lip service” to corruption
Sparks flew at the weekly meeting of the of the BJP Parliamentary Party on Wednesday, with a few MPs criticising the party's “wishy-washy” stand on Team Anna's demands and its Jan Lokpal Bill.
Yashwant Sinha, former Union Finance Minister and MP from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, reportedly accused the party of not taking up the corruption issue aggressively, thus allowing the initiative to go into the hands of Team Anna.
To the surprise of the leadership — senior leader L.K. Advani was in the chair as he is the chairman of the parliamentary party — two other MPs too expressed their dissatisfaction. The implication was that the BJP was being hypocritical as it had extended support to Team Anna without backing his Bill, putting the party, especially its MPs, in an awkward position. Some of them were “gheraoed” by young men and women, who responded to Team Anna's call to do so.
The party's stance had left MPs unable to answer why the BJP was not supporting the Jan Lokpal Bill, they felt.
Sources in the party said the two other MPs who spoke were Shatrughan Sinha, representing Patnasaheb in Bihar, and Uday Singh of Purnea, also in Bihar.
While at one point Mr. Yashwant Sinha was reported to have indicated that he could even quit his Lok Sabha seat — attempts to contact him were fruitless as his telephone was switched off — he seemed to have charged the leadership with failure to “take forward” the battle against corruption.
The trigger for the anger of these MPs was Mr. Advani's remarks, expressing his worry about the deteriorating health of Mr. Hazare, who has been fasting for more than nine days and appealing to him to end his protest. This was taken as a signal of capitulation.
Mr. Shatrughan Sinha attacked the leadership for paying “lip service” to the corruption issue and making much of it just to attack the Congress without being sincere in eradicating the menace.
Some party leaders tried to dismiss the entire episode as of not much importance as the parliamentary party was a forum at which MPs aired their grievances frankly. It was suggested that these things were said more in anger and frustration than in earnest.