New Delhi: BJP leader L K Advani on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the Lokpal fiasco in Rajya Sabha, alleging that he had chosen "conspiratorial silence and acquiescence" while the government ran away from a vote on the Bill. (Agencies)
In a statement issued on Saturday, Advani said, "For the UPA government, 2011 was annus horribilis (horrible year). The Congress-led government found itself in the quagmire of one corruption scandal after another, each of which robbed it of its legitimacy to rule."
He insisted that the credibility of the government and its leadership "nosedived in direct proportion to the scale of the scandals" and the Prime Minister as well as Congress President Sonia Gandhi were engaged in "desperate acts of scapegoating" trying to ensure that bigger heads did not roll.
Advani also held Singh responsible to a great extent for the inconclusive Rajya Sabha debate on Lokpal Bill and the adjournment amid uproar.
"It (UPA government) exhibited arrogance, ineptitude and deceit in equal measure in dealing with the demand for a strong, independent and effective Lokpal. I, for one, am not in the least bit surprised that Year 2011 ended with the UPA government literally fleeing from vote in the Rajya Sabha on its own version of the Lok Sabha bill," he said.
The BJP leader charged that he had never seen a government invite such ignominy upon itself because of the "virtual evaporation of responsibility" on the part of the Prime Minister. He maintained that Singh had chosen "conspiratorial silence and acquiescence" when India expected "honest, transparent leadership" from him.
Though Advani did not specify clearly if his party was hopeful of mid-term polls, he stated that 2012 is undoubtedly "pregnant with the certainty of big changes in national politics" especially with Singh rendered a "lame duck Prime Minister".
"The fraud on democracy, which the nation witnessed on the night of December 29, was unprecedented," he said.
The BJP leader described the UPA government as the the most corrupt government in the history of independent India.
"The UPA government's 'Fleedom at Midnight' in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, as my colleague Jaitley has memorably described, has rendered Dr. Manmohan Singh a lame duck Prime Minister. The initiative to define the course of politics in the New Year has clearly shifted to the BJP and the NDA," Advani said.
He admitted that though BJP and NDA governments in the states were doing well and committed to good governance, there have been problems and disappointments. "We must correct these resolutely in 2012," he said.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Uttarakhand CM Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were asked to quit by the BJP this year after a slew of corruption cases in their governments.
The NDA Working Chairperson also showered fulsome praise on his juniors, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley and party president Nitin Gadkari.
"2011 saw the BJP's, and NDA's, parliamentary work rise to the people's expectations from an effective opposition alliance determined to challenge a scam-ridden and anti-poor government," Advani said.
Praising Gadkari, Advani said the party organization has became considerably stronger and more vibrant in 2011 under his leadership.
"Younger party functionaries have become active at all levels. There is a new sense of determination and purpose to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities in front of us. This fills me with a lot of hope for 2012," he said.
The BJP leader also stated that there was a "remarkable rise" in civil society activism, be it by Anna Hazare on the Lokpal issue or by Baba Ramdev against blackmoney and corruption.
"The sustained agitation led by Anna Hazare for the enactment of a strong Lok Pal struck a chord in large sections of the citizenry. Earlier, the agitation led by Baba Ramdev against corruption and blackmoney also evoked widespread response. An aware, active and vigilant citizenry strengthens democracy and protects it from assaults by authoritarian forces," Advani said.
New Delhi: BJP leader L K Advani on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the Lokpal fiasco in Rajya Sabha, alleging that he had chosen "conspiratorial silence and acquiescence" while the government ran away from a vote on the Bill.