Bargarh (Orissa): Branding UPA government as the "most corrupt" and "inefficient" since independence, BJP leader L K Advani on Sunday asserted that corruption would be wiped out and black money stashed abroad retrieved if his party wrested power at the Centre.

Advani says yatra will go to Bangalore

"I have seen all governments from (Jawaharlal) Nehru to (Atal Behari) Vajpayee since independence, first as a journalist and then as a member of Parliament. But this is the
most corrupt and inefficient government," Advani told a public meeting here after his 'Jan Chetna yatra' entered Orissa.

Stressing that Singh was the "weakest" Prime Minister the country had seen, Advani said, "Manmohan is nominal. Sonia (Gandhi) takes decisions. Manmohan writes, Sonia decides and the result is that one scam after another cropped up and the Prime Minister watched as a mute spectator."

The former Deputy Prime Minister said India's image abroad was being tarnished due to rampant corruption during the Congress-led UPA rule. If BJP comes to power, it would wipe
out corruption and bring back huge black money stashed abroad, he said.

After the UPA government was reduced to a minority in 2008 following withdrawal of support by the Left parties, it had "hatched a conspiracy to win over Opposition MPs", he said adding their conspiracy was thwarted by the party which had succeeded in exposing their design before Parliament.

"Unfortunately, those who had exposed the conspiracy were put behind bars," Advani said.

In countries like the USA, Canada and New Zealand, there is a law to provide protection to whistle blowers. Such a bill had been drafted in our country but it is yet to be passed by Parliament, he said.

Alleging that the USA administration was perturbed when the UPA government came to minority, Advani claimed a senior official of the US embassy was asked to assure Washington that there was no threat to the government.

"It was stated that UPA had enough money to win over the Opposition MPs and the government will not be allowed to fall," Advani alleged.

Maintaining that his 40-day yatra was aimed at creating awareness among the people about large scale corruption taking place in the country, the BJP leader said the need to wipe out corruption must be highlighted.

Drawing a comparison between UPA rule and the erstwhile NDA government led by BJP, Advani said the country saw the best government during the latter's rule. It was the most
honest government which provided good governance and clean administration, he said.

Advani for probe against Chidambaram

Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Sunday alleged elaborate attempts at a cover-up in 2G scam and demanded "serious investigation" to ascertain the role of the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in spectrum allocations.

Advani also questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's integrity and leadership alleging that his government had "no capacity left to respond to" multi-crore scams that took place "under his nose and, from all accounts in his knowledge".

His comments came in the wake of a Delhi court framing charges on Saturday against all the 17 accused in the 2G scam including former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and corporate honchos.

"While the framing of charges of fraud against a former Minister, several officials, an MP and functionaries of companies that allegedly benefitted from the scam is welcome, I believe the probe has left some important facets out of its ambit," Advani said in a statement at Raipur on Sunday.

"Despite elaborate attempts at a cover-up, the role of former Finance Minister and incumbent Home Minister, P Chidambaram, clearly merits serious investigation," he said.

The BJP leader said what prompted the Finance Ministry to change its stated position on auctioning scarce spectrum "remains an abiding mystery."

"Why did Chidambaram concur with A Raja's decision to allot spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices, days after giving an opinion to the contrary?," he asked.

"I demand that the Supreme Court-directed investigation into the 2G Spectrum scam must be extended to probing his role and that of officials of the Finance Ministry of the time," Advani said.

Accusing the UPA of failing to adopt a consistent policy on corruption, Advani said, "The Manmohan Singh regime has been so weakened by the succession of gigantic corruption scandals that it has no capacity left to respond to challenges."

"Just on Saturday, the Delhi High Court has admitted the final charge sheet presented by the CBI against 17 persons in the massive 2G Spectrum scam. The prosecution has filed the charges under sections of the law that entail life imprisonment for the accused if they are found guilty of criminal conspiracy to loot the country's resources," he said.

"The Prime Minister prides himself on his personal integrity. However, the fact that the loot happened under his nose and, from all accounts with his knowledge, puts a serious question mark on his leadership," the BJP leader said.

"The suspicion that the money trail did not end with the charge-sheeted persons is growing stronger every day, especially after it was revealed through an RTI application that Pranab Mukherjee, senior-most member of the Cabinet had also opposed this transaction," he said.

Advani reiterated that his Yatra is for the restoration of a value system in governance "that we seem to be losing".

"The cancer of corruption is destroying the soul of our great civilisation," he said and pointed out that the siphoning off of public funds is at the root of runaway inflation.

Advani pays homage to Chhattisgarh cops

Paying homage to the six Chhattisgarh police constables recently killed by Naxalites near Jagdalpur, Advani said, "Unfortunately, the Centre's inconsistent policy towards Naxalite violence, indifference to state governments' efforts to establish order and pave the way for economic progress, has hampered India's fight against internal subversion."

Noting that the BJP-ruled states have been "consistent and determined" in dealing with the Naxal menace, he said, "We will continue this fight-back against all forms of terrorism, including Naxalite violence, because the BJP is deeply committed to preserving and promoting pluralist democracy."

(JPN/Agencies)