A day after senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha demanded the resignation of party president Nitin Gadkari in the wake of charges of business irregularities in his Purti group, Gadkari said that he was clean and alleged that there was an attempt to defame him.
The BJP chief was addressing a protest rally against the FDI in retail and corruption here as part of the party's nationwide protests on the issue on Wednesday.
"There is an attempt to defame us. We are clean. There is no need to fear and we are ready to face any probe. I want to assure you that we have not done anything wrong," Gadkari said.
Accompanied by former BJP president Rajnath Singh, he said: "There is loot in this country. The BJP has been exposing this government's corruption and scams. That is why there is an attempt to defame us."
"Congress is misusing the CBI against Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shibu Soren and others by threatening them with CBI files and cases. False allegations have also been levelled against the BJP. The Congress says if you speak against us, we will destroy you. Whosoever wants to probe, can probe. We are not scared."
Keen to corner the government over FDI in retail, BJP leaders are set to move a privilege motion against commerce minister Anand Sharma in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on the ground that the minister - who had assured the House that FDI in retail would not be implemented without consulting stakeholders including political parties and state governments - was 'guilty' of breach of privilege.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host opposition leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley for dinner on Thursday night, after a previous dinner was cancelled following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death.
At the protest in Delhi, Rajnath Singh accused the government of playing into foreign hands and said it has violated parliamentary traditions by breaking its promise on FDI in retail.
"They have played with parliamentary traditions by breaking their promise on FDI made in parliament.... They are playing into the hands of foreign players," Singh said.
"They are laying red carpets for foreign companies like Walmart. Wherever Walmart has gone, it has turned farmers bankrupt.... They talk of generating 40-lakh jobs through FDI in retail, but they will take away the livelihood of 5-crore people."