In the dock over the 2G-spectrum scam and other controversies that has hit the UPA government in its second tenure, the Congress now plans a major counter-offensive against the opposition move to hold a nationwide agitation on the issue of corruption.
The party said it will "actively and aggressively go to the people" with a chargesheet against the opposition, mainly the BJP. The strategy was given a final shape at a meeting of the Congress core group on Tuesday.
"We are going to highlight corruption in BJP-ruled states. See what is happening in Karnataka. Corruption is rampant there and also in Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Then who can forget the defence scam during the NDA rule and former BJP president Bangaru Laxman caught in camera taking bribe," a Congress leader.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi herself set the tone for unleashing an aggressive campaign against the BJP and other opposition parties on Monday.
"I would like to urge all our party workers to explain to the people…and expose the opposition's double standards and double speak, particularly the BJP," she said in her address to the Congress parliamentary party.
The plan would now be unfolded at the three-day plenary, beginning December 18 where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to speak on the issue given the fact that he did not get a chance to make a statement in parliament.
Congress media department chief Janardan Dwivedi also spoke of the move. "Congress is ready for every challenge and will go to the people more actively in the coming days and expose the motive and the intention of the opposition," he said.
Dwivedi said the opposition was raising the bogey of corruption as it was running out of patience after the defeat in last Lok Sabha elections.
While telecom minister Kapil Sibal briefed the core group about steps taken by the government to clean up the 2G-spectrum mess, the party is visibly embarrassed over the reference to its leaders in the Radia tapes. "Obviously such things are damaging to the party. They don't raise the party's prestige," a senior party functionary said.