New Delhi: Congress attacked BJP for giving a clean chit to its President Nitin Gadkari facing charges of owning shell companies, alleging it has shown the "bankruptcy" of the opposition party's leadership and the "mask" has now come off "exposing its real face". I and B Minister Manish Tewari told reporters that "this is a strange process and an incredible mechanism in which the informer, investigator and the judge is the same".

He was apparently ridiculing the move by BJP to get a detailed presentation on investments made in Gadkari's company Purti Sugar and Power by chartered accountant S Gurumurthy. Gurumurthy, an RSS ideologue, was specially invited at the meeting of BJP Core Group on Tuesday, after which the party announced its backing to Gadkari.

"The mask is off. The real face of BJP, which used to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh every now and then, stands exposed now," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said at AICC's media briefing accusing the party of "double speak" on the issue of corruption.

AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad said BJP's giving a clean chit to Gadkari shows "bankruptcy" of the party leadership and its ideology. In a stinging remark, he advised Gadkari that he "should close political office and to be back to his business...his Purty group".

Chowdhary described as "divide between RSS-members and non-RSS members in BJP" the demand by Ram Jethmalani for Gadkari's immediate resignation with apparent backing of some senior leaders including Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha.

"That is for Jethmalani and BJP to sort it out. There is a clear divide between RSS-members and non-RSS members within BJP." Senior Congress leader Suresh Pachouri alleged that RSS and BJP are "adopting" double standards on Nitin Gadkari.

"Both BJP and RSS have double standards on the issue as despite having clear cut proof against Gadkari they gave him clean chit in the matter," he said.

"It has been established that charges against Gadkari were right and therefore he should resign from his post on moral grounds," Pachouri told reporters in Bhopal after attending a function organised by teachers.

On Gadkari's remarks equating IQ levels of Swami Vivekananda and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, the senior leader said it shows the "mental bankruptcy" of the BJP chief.

Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Kantilal Bhuria said that "by giving clean chit to Gadkari, BJP has proved that it always stands with the corrupt." Bhuria demanded that Gadkari should step down immediately in view of the seriousness of the allegations against him.

(Agencies)

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