Kolkata/New Delhi: BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi, comparing her resolve to fight corruption to Pakistan saying it is combating terrorism.

Gadkari's taunt quickly triggered a fresh war of words with the Congress which said he has reduced the platform of BJP to "gutter-level politics". Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarjan demanded an apology from Gadkari for his "outrageous" remarks.

"Sonia Gandhi says she will fight corruption. I say it is like Pakistan saying we will fight terrorism," Gadkari said in Kolkata.

"When Pakistan says we will fight terrorism, even the people of Pakistan and rest of world don't believe them. Similarly, when she says so (on corruption) not even Congressmen will believe the same," he said addressing a BJP meet.

Jayanti Natarajan in a hard hitting response to BJP chief's outbursts against Sonia said, "Gadkari has reduced the platform of BJP to gutter level politics."

"He is unfit to play a role at any level or democratic polity. To compare the noble sentiments of the Congress president and her resolve to fight corruption to Pakistan fighting terrorism shows the mindset of Gadkari who comes from an ideology that breeds hatred, division and murder," she told reporters in Delhi.

"We demand an apology from BJP for the outrageous remarks made by the BJP president...He should apologise for the remarks," she added.

Gadkari also alleged that Congress and UPA government were trying to throttle the voice of democracy and creating an "emergency" like situation in the country.

Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia of being 'fascist', Gadkari said, "The government is creating an emergency like situation and forcefully throttling the voice of democratic movement".

He also equated UPA government's 'irresponsible' crackdown on Baba Ramdev's movement against black money at Ramlila maidan in New Delhi to Jalianwala Bagh massacre.

"The UPA government mercilessly beat the sages and the children, stripped off the clothes of the women and even Baba Ramdev was not spared the UPA government's wrath," he alleged.

"Is it wrong to speak against black money and corruption? Why did the government crackdown on the people who were conducting a peaceful non-violent movement at the dead of night? Why the government is reluctant to publish the names of the people who stashed away money in foreign banks?" Gadkari asked.

PM clarification on PC’s role in 2G sought

BJP on Wednesday alleged that the taped conversation between former Telecom Minister A Raja and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia shows that the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram played a role in the 2G spectrum scam and sought an explanation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"There are fairly extensive references in the conversation between former Minister A Raja and Niira Radia on whatever is alleged as the role played by P Chidambaram. The allegations referred there are related to money being taken and also functioning of Chidambaram regarding minerals and gas matters," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The CBI could be taking a soft line on Chidambaram in this case, she said and maintained that this was visible when the investigating agency did not comply with the Supreme Court orders to provide more details on his reported involvement.

"An analysis of this money making by Chidambaram has been entered by the CBI as an analysis elsewhere. We are not able to understand how the CBI has not produced the details to the Supreme Court," Sitharaman said.

She noted that the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the CBI investigations into 2G scam, has asked the Income Tax department to produce the transcript related to the conversation between Raja and Radia.

The opposition party claimed that the conversation makes it clear that Chidambaram was involved in the making of the policy for 2G spectrum allocation.

The BJP maintained that the conversation makes it clear that Chidambaram was involved in policy making on 2G spectrum allocation.

"It is very clear that as regards the fixation of the prices of 2G spectrum allocation, there was clearly a role played by P Chidambaram as the Finance Minister in fixing the price of spectrum in 2007 at 2001 prices," Sitharaman said.

She charged that Chidambaram was reported to have been advising Raja at this point in time on how to go about the allocation of 2G spectrum.

"An allegation has gone so as far as to say that he (Chidambaram) was jointly responsible for the decision of going in for allocating spectrum in 2007 at 2001 rates," Sitharaman said.


(JPN/Agencies)