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BJP to adopt two-prong approach against Congress

The BJP's new strategy against the Congress on the issue of corruption will see a two-prong approach. Shekhar Iyer reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2011 22:20 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times

The BJP's new strategy against the Congress on the issue of corruption will see a two-prong approach.

In the run-up to the budget session of Parliament, which is likely to see a fresh bout of standoff between the government and the Opposition, the BJP intends to again try and link the saga of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in connection with the 24-year-old bribery case with Sonia Gandhi and her family.

Secondly, the BJP will strive again to pin the responsibility for the 2G telecom spectrum scam to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "silence" and inability rather than an involvement to stop sleaze.

Senior BJP leaders, who wrapped up their just-concluded Guwahati conclave approving this strategy, believe that this is the best way to be keep up the heat on the ruling UPA.

"Our approach is put pressure on Sonia Gandhi for the Bofors issue and the 2G Spectrum scam on the Prime Minister," a top BJP leader said.

Interestingly, the BJP does not see a "big" potential yet in the 2G Spectrum cases to allege involvement of the Congress's first family in the irregularities - though the role of the DMK leaders have been established by the investigative agencies.

Similarly, the party awaits further probe to show linkages between those involved in the Common Wealth Games 2010 held in Delhi and the Congress higher-ups. "It's still a few individuals like Suresh Kalmadi though we know he couldn't have been alone to handle the way he did," said the party functionary.

"We are not going to drag Sonia Gandhi's name in connection with the CWG unless evidence crops up…but that's not the case when it comes to the Bofors," said another BJP leader on his return from Guwahati.

"The story of the Bofors investigation is a clear case right from the beginning as to how the scam beneficiaries were helped by successive Congress governments to escape probe," said the BJP leader.

The BJP's line against the Congress will be that "bringing to book those behind the Bofors scam" is not impossible but "not possible" because the Congress won't let it happen."

As for the 2G spectrum scam, the BJP's reading of telecom minister Kapil Sibal's latest offensive against the CAG report itself is "revival" of an old strategy of the Congress, "which is to brazen it out." Siginificantly, the BJP won't come out yet in defending the RSS, which might be feeling the heat due to the CBI probe into the "saffron link" to terrorism in the country. The BJP's strategy is not to let its anti-corruption plank derailed by any overdrive to defend the Sangh.

Like the RSS, the BJP leaders believe that the CBI probe won't make much headway on the saffron front as the investigators are under pressure to prove the Congress leaders' charge - ahead of assembly polls in many states - against the Sangh rather than "unearth the truth" relating to the Samjhauta Express blast of 2007 and other explosions.

In tune with this approach, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat asserted on Monday that there was no place for radicals in the Sangh and the Congress was giving a terror tag to his outfit because "the vote banks that were build are getting disintegrated, results of some elections have not gone in their favour. They are afraid and have got united to malign our image."

First Published: Jan 10, 2011 22:17 IST

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