‘The Congress is doing things behind the PM’s back’

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Nirmala Sitharaman
Photo: Amit Kumar

What does the BJP make of Sonia Gandhi’s four-point action plan on corruption?
Her speech was a lot of put-on aggression. The plan is nothing new. This is only to divert the aam aadmi’s attention. The whole attitude is as if some novelty has been introduced. The Congress has come to be identified with corruption. The plan may come across very well as rhetoric, but it is difficult to convince the public. The whole plenary session was BJP-phobic.

The Congress has attacked the BJP, accusing it of double standards on corruption. Isn’t it hypocritical to stall Parliament while not taking action against your own leaders?
Absolutely not. This tall claim of ‘we don’t tolerate any corruption’ has fallen flat on its face. The PM personally may have a clean record. We demanded the resignation of Congress leaders like Ashok Chavan on the basis of official reports. There were ample, credible reports that could be taken as prima facie evidence. To compare that with BS Yeddyurappa is not correct.

Why hasn’t the BJP removed Yeddyurappa as chief minister?
Let’s not be on the froth of things, we need to get into the depth. By removing leaders, the Congress thinks they are convincing us of our actions as regards to graft. Removing them doesn’t bring the money back.

But the BJP’s reaction has been to keep its tainted leaders in power. No action has been taken against the Reddy brothers.
There is an inquiry going on. When the findings come out, we will definitely take action. Don’t expect the Congress kind of reaction, which is pure eyewash.

But the BJP has not even bothered to take the moral high ground by asking its leaders to resign.
We will take genuine action. In Karnataka, the land granted by the chief minister to his son has already been returned. But can the Congress return the Rs. 1.7 lakh crore stolen from the exchequer?

The prime minister has said he is ready to appear before the PAC. Why is the BJP still insisting on a JPC?
Personally, we hold Manmohan Singh in high regard. But the Congress is using his image to do a lot of things behind his back. He has been aware of what has been happening in the telecom ministry. Didn’t he write a letter to A Raja asking him to be transparent? To say that he is willing to appear before the PAC… he cannot choose the forum where he can appear. Parliament is supreme. We will continue to demand a JPC.

What does the BJP make of the Congress’ determination to go after the RSS on terror?
They are worried and it is a knee-jerk reaction. The Congress is facing defeat in various elections, one after another. They have realised that voters from the minority community are bypassing them and voting for us. This appeasement politics is not being welcomed even by the minority community. There is not a single conviction against the RSS on terror.

Are you concerned that organisations close to the BJP are being linked to terror?
Please reconsider that sentence. The RSS and the VHP are not getting linked. Where are you deriving this conclusion from? Why do we assume that every small Hindu group is linked to the BJP? They are looking for links to get closer to the minority community, which now understands the gameplan of the Congress.

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