The BJP on Thursday launched an attack on Congress chief ministers and leaders facing corruption charges and asked the opposition party to take action against them.
While it is waiting for the Congress leadership to support the crucial GST Bill, the BJP fielded commerce minister Niramala Sitharaman to tear into Kerala, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh CMs over alleged involvement in corruption cases and demanded action against them.
Sitharaman also targeted former finance minister P Chidambram in the context of ED raids on a firm of his son’s friend. Citing a recent notification by the Swiss government, she said it had “reinforced” the charge that Preneet Kaur, a minister in the UPA government, had an undisclosed bank account in Switzerland. Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh’s wife, Kaur has already denied charges.
Sitharaman, however, said she would not “imagine” that the attack on Congress would have a bearing on its stand on the GST bill.
“GST is something which is their (Congress) bill. It is in the national interest. If these are becoming an issue because of which Congress party, and I would not imagine that, would not support GST, then it would be a sad day,” she said, expressing hope that it would deal with the allegations with “maturity”.
“Congress is behaving as if they have not heard even a whisper. It is not one but several instances of corruption where Congress is happily looking the other way. We hope it engages in matters of public importance,” she said.
Referring to the allegation of a solar scam accused in Kerala that he had paid a bribe of Rs 5.1 crore to chief minister Oommen Chandy, Sitharaman said, “There is a pretence that nothing has happened.”
She also attacked Congress over “lack of action” in corruption charges against Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand chief ministers Virbhadra Singh and Harish Rawat respectively.
“I wonder if Congress has any mechanism to check corruption within the party. These are serious allegations involving institutions, constitutional posts... We demand action from Congress. It should answer to these allegations,” she added.