Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to act against Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa for alleged corruption and said the main Opposition was holding Parliament "hostage to political blackmail".
"There should be no tolerance to corruption. We have asked our (chief minister) to step down, pending enquiry," Gandhi said in her address to the 83rd Congress plenary.
She was referring to former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan who was forced to step down in the wake of the Adarsh housing scam in Mumbai where politicians, bureaucrats, senior officers of the armed forces were given houses at throwaway prices. The flats were meant for families of war heroes.
She mounted the attack on the main opposition party for not taking decisive steps in Karnataka despite allegations of corruption and nepotism against Yeddyurappa.
"Can the BJP make such a claim? Can the BJP say so in regards to Karnataka?" she said.
The Congress chief in her long speech also lambasted the opposition for stalling the winter session of Parliament due to the 2G spectrum scandal.
"Can they (the BJP) justify bringing parliament to halt? Parliament cannot be held hostage to political blackmail. Parliament is itself a forum for debate," the Congress president said.
She, however, admitted that "there is no doubt that corruption at all levels has become a disease."
The Congress president in reference to recently unearthed graft scams said the nation was "paying the heaviest price" for the rampant corruption.
The right to information, she said, "is bringing new culture and transparency. The Lokpal bill will strengthen this process".
The Congress president also stressed on the fact that the party "solidly" supports Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his "unwavering devotion" towards the prosperity of the nation.
"Manmohan Singh has shown unwavering devotion towards the progress and prosperity of the nation. The party stands solidly behind him," she said.
Praising the prime minister, Sonia Gandhi said he was an embodiment of "sobriety and integrity".