Campaigning for the third phase of polls ended on Tuesday but the uproar over withdrawal of the red corner notice against Ottavio Quattrocchi, accused in the Bofors case, has given parties enough ammunition to last them the final two phases.
While the Congress sought to corner the BJP for politicising the issue, the saffron party decided to focus on the CBI to avoid “media fatigue” with the 23-year-old case.
“The BJP has lost it. It has fired the Bofors bullet many times and in fact, overused it for electoral gains,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said. He was scathing in his criticism of BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who, he said, couldn't produce a shred of evidence in the case in his capacity as additional advocate general, and later law minister.
“Shame on you (Jaitley). He spent millions of dollars criss-crossing the world with two officials to find evidence…but came back with nothing. When he was law minister, the Delhi High Court dismissed the case. Why didn't he appeal against the order?”
Congress leaders are of the opinion Bofors won’t be a poll issue as its opponents had raked it up during previous polls.
Aware of the fact the bribery scandal is past it poll utility date, the BJP has decided to focus on the CBI’s role. Even as party leader L.K Advani blamed Sonia Gandhi for putting pressure to end the probe, Jaitley targeted the CBI.
He said on Tuesday: “Today, the CBI deserves to be investigated.”
Created to investigate corruption and maintain purity of government functioning, the CBI is conspiring with the accused, he said. He reeled out cases in support of his charge.