BJP leaders trained their guns on Congress president Sonia Gandhi directly over “corruption” at the NDA rally here on Sunday, marking a shift from the earlier strategy of making PM Manmohan Singh the prime target of their attacks.
“The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has said that Ottavio Quattrocchi took commission,” BJP patriarch LK Advani said at the NDA rally here. “Soniaji is Congress president. Can she deny what the CBI has said… the driver has said… that Quottrocchi met her many times at her residence?”
Leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley also obliquely hit out at Gandhi. “The Congress was dealing with three scams when an old scam came back to haunt them. The fourth goes straight to the house of the Congress leadership,” Swaraj said. Jaitley said, “For 23 years, the Congress’ first family tried to cover up the truth about Bofors. The truth has now come out...”
Former BJP president Rajnath Singh demanded that Gandhi agree to get her role probed by any agency.
Making corruption its main focus, the party’s political resolution on Sunday also attacked the Congress “first family”. “When Sri Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister, Ottavio Quattrocchi had unrivalled access to the PM’s household…” The resolution also dealt with the 2G scam, the CWG scandal, and the need for a JPC. Swaraj defended the stalling of Parliament, saying, “Kabhi kabhi sansad ka na chalna chalne se zyaada prabhaavihota hai (Non-functioning of Parliament is sometimes more powerful than its functioning).” Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, who is battling corruption charges, was not present at the rally. Also absent were Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and BJP Assam election in-charge Varun Gandhi. Ally JD(U), which has been known to be protective of its “secular” image, was represented by Sharad Yadav.
When in Assam
The BJP also chose to talk of Bangladeshi infiltration as well as corruption charges in the Assam as they kicked off their campaign for the state polls. Advani said that it was the duty of the Centre to ensure there was no place for Bangladeshi infiltrators in Assam. “The Foreigners’ Act says that a foreigner who stays unauthorisedly to India should be sent away. It is he who has to prove that he is an Indian citizen.”