The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday attacked Rahul Gandhi over his "posturing" on anti-graft bills, saying the Congress vice-president never spoke of corruption cases that had hit the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj
and Arun Jaitley told a joint press conference that the pendency of some of the legislations was the result of the Congress' failure.
"He (Gandhi) never spoke of corruption in Parliament... But now he says corruption is our (Congress') issue... He is a late entrant in the anti-corruption bandwagon," Jaitley said, reacting to the Congress' allegations that the BJP had posed a roadblock to the tabling of the bills.
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A day after both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die, Swaraj, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, said that Gandhi was "not even genuine" in his efforts to push for the anti-graft bills.
She added several scams surfaced during the UPA government's tenure, but Gandhi never spoke of them. "Sau chuhe kha ke billi haj ko chali (after eating 100 rats, a cat goes to pilgrimage)."
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Jaitley, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, also questioned why Gandhi remained silent when scams related to the 2G spectrum, coal block allocation, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing Society and VVIP chopper deal had surfaced.
The BJP leaders described as "hypothetical" the question that whether the party will extend support if the government chose the ordinance route to enact the anti-corruption laws.
Gandhi had pressed for passing six anti-corruption bills in the just-concluded session. Of them, only the Whistleblowers Protection Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
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"There is no question of supporting or opposing the ordinances...now there will be no session (of Parliament). If we come to power (at the Centre), we will make changes in the measures," Swaraj said.
Jaitley added the just-concluded Winter Session of Parliament needed to be prorogued before ordinance can be promulgated.
"Then we have to see when the (election) model code of conduct will come into effect. The ordinances have to be approved by the President...may be the next government will be left to ratify the ordinances."
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Gandhi had on Friday indicated that ordinances could be issued on anti-graft bills which could not be passed in Parliament.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken had earlier alleged that BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi had made the saffron party block the legislations championed by Gandhi.
At a recent rally in Karnataka, Gandhi had said," We are being stopped in Parliament. The BJP is blocking us."
Before the extended Winter Session started, Swaraj had said the bills appeared to be Gandhi's poll agenda and Parliament was not bound to follow his wishes.
Apart from the Whistleblowers Protection Bill, five other legislations Gandhi wanted to be passed were: Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Grievance Redressal Bill, the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill and the Public Procurement Bill, 2012.
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