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Corruption will be No.1 poll plank of party, says BJP

Neena Vyas
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Accuses Centre of scuttling attempts for thorough probe into 2G scam

CAMPAIGN AGAINST CORRUPTION: BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, and Nitin Gadkari, with Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra (left) and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, at the NDA's rally in Guwahati on Sunday. — Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar (more reports on page 10)
CAMPAIGN AGAINST CORRUPTION: BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, and Nitin Gadkari, with Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra (left) and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, at the NDA's rally in Guwahati on Sunday. — Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar (more reports on page 10)

The BJP on Sunday formulated a political strategy making corruption the main plank of its poll campaign against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre. The political resolution adopted at the party's two-day national executive here spelt out this strategy.

If Bofors brought down Mr. Clean (Rajiv Gandhi) why cannot the 2G spectrum scandal dirty the spotless image of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? And can the BJP push the Opposition agenda to create some doubts about the integrity of Congress president Sonia Gandhi? Should it directly target her or will this strategy back-fire?

These questions formed the backbone of the discussions at the national executive even as it was decided that the political resolution would focus on corruption and this would be the number one poll plank of the party.

One senior BJP leader said: “The prathan kunji [main lever of power] in this government is Sonia Gandhi. When we talk of the First Family or the Government, we are actually targeting her even if she is not named.”

The resolution made it clear that for the BJP, the political situation today was akin to what it was when Rajiv Gandhi became the target of attacks on the Bofors kickbacks issue.

The five-page resolution recalled the party's Ernakulum resolution of 1988, which said that Rajiv Gandhi, who began his political career as ‘Mr. Clean,' later “emerged as Mr. Disaster” and was “giving the country a scandal a day.”

It went on to quote from the 1988 resolution, which noted: “The country is being ruled today by faceless men with multiple mysterious foreign links.”

Today, the resolution said, it was a similar situation. “In 2010, today's Prime Minister gave us a scandal a day,” it said, adding that this government, as the one in 1988, was scuttling attempts for a comprehensive inquiry even as “faceless men with mysterious foreign links are emerging in the Radia tapes and in tax havens, and the CBI is belatedly searching for them.” The BJP has announced a plan to hold meetings focusing on corruption at the block level for a month from January 20, and a mass contact programme in March.

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