Senior BJP leader LK Advani finally spoke about former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s arrest on corruption charges saying he had cautioned the beleaguered politician about his ‘small weakness’.
"Yeddyurappa was repeatedly warned on his conduct and as soon as the Lokayukta report indicting him was out, the party asked him to relinquish his post,” defended Advani whose 40-day ‘Jan Chetna yatra’ against corruption received a major setback after the arrest of ex-CM of Karnataka on charges of corruption.
“Time and again I have been telling my party men to overcome weaknesses and not to compromise on principles. Our small weaknesses may render us helpless to fight against the massive corruption by the UPA government. The 2G spectrum scam is massive – of Rs 1,785 lakh crores -- but because citing our weakness the UPA can get away with it," said Advani trying to defend his party amid perception that it was no different from the Congress when it came to charges of corruption.
Interacting with the media before entering his yatra for Andhra Pradesh, the octogenarian leader said: “The BJP is fully aware that no party can effectively win the confidence of the people against the present corruption of the Congress if its own house is bedeviled with similar weakness.”
Targetting the Congress-led UPA government on corruption, he said the result of recent by-elections were quite significant and a reflection of the government’s inability to govern. “The Congress and its allies lost everywhere. The defeat of the Congress was notable even in states, like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana where it is in power. The writing is on the wall and this is electorate’s warning to the government,” he said.
He said that the people of the country will no longer tolerate the UPA because of its consistent anti-people and corrupt track record. “The countdown for the demise of UPA has begun,” he thundered.
On NDA’s silence on black money when they were in power for six years, Advani defended his party saying they were not in a position to act at that time because of strict laws of secrecy in Swiss banks prevailed then. "Now the Swiss government has extended helping hand by passing laws, like Restitution of Illegal Assets Act making it possible for government to get back black money stashed there," claimed the BJP veteran.
"The Manmohan Singh government is reluctant to take effective steps for bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks for obvious reasons. The government lacks political will because of implications of exposure," Advani alleged and said that the yatra was to awaken the people and create a resolve not to tolerate corruption anymore and to make the country a powerful nation.
Answering a question, the veteran BJP leader said that he missed the presence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and late Pramod Mahajan. “I miss the guidance and companionship of Atalji while Mahajan was the architect of my first rathyatra that began from Somnath to Ayodhya,” he further said.