GUNA: The logjam in Parliament will continue unless "corruption issues" involving BJP ministers are resolved, senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said today, setting the tone for the all-party meeting convened tomorrow by the ruling NDA to break the impasse.
Scindia said that Congress will not "budge" on its demand for resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over Vyapam scam as it has dented the image of Madhya Pradesh at the international level. "Congress will vociferously raise the Vyapam issue in Lok Sabha to expose the doublespeak of BJP on corruption. The saffron party's acts and deeds on corruption are way apart," Scindia, chief whip of Congress in Lok Sabha, told PTI here.
He said Congress will stick to its demand for Chouhan's resignation "in the interest of a fair probe". "The current logjam will continue in Parliament until the issues of corruption are resolved. Congress is firm on its stand on these issues. If the government wants to go ahead, then it should take some positive steps on these matters," he said. The Congress MP's statement came on the eve of the all-party meeting convened by the NDA government in a fresh bid to break the deadlock in Parliament that has continued for two weeks now.
Almost half the session has gone in disruptions as opposition parties led by Congress are not allowing discussion while demanding resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the Lalit Modi controversy and that of Chouhan in connection with the Vyapam scam.
Scindia replied in the negative when asked if Congress will withdraw its demand for Chouhan's resignation as Supreme Court has already handed over the investigation into the scam to CBI. Referring to LK Advani's statement that the saffron party should remain a party of values and principles, Scindia said the BJP patriarch himself had set an example earlier by resigning on moral grounds.
"Now, it is for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party to take a call on whether or not they want a principled BJP," he said. Stating that the scam took place when medical education department was headed by Chouhan, Scindia said it has dented
the image of Madhya Pradesh at the international level. He said the "truth" will come out if the evidence (Excel sheet) given by one of the key whistle-blowers, Prashant Pandey, and submitted by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh are examined properly.
Referring to 'Lalitgate', Scindia said, "BJP is sitting on the corruption cases in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and other places." Recalling the BJP's promise of clean and good governance in the run up to Lok Sabha elections last year, Scindia said it has turned out to be "hollow" in the wake of corruption scandals surrounding the saffron party.
"People want action now in real sense," he said. Replying to a query on the loss of crucial hours in the Monsoon session due to bedlam, Scindia said, "In the previous 15th Lok Sabha, out of the total 1,340 hours, 980 hours, which amounts to nearly 70 per cent of its time, got wasted because of ruckus created by BJP on various issues." Further slamming the Modi government, Scindia referred to the Punjab terror strike to charge that it had failed in tackling cross-border terrorism despite making tall claims in this regard during campaigning for the polls.
On the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon, Scindia said his party respects the Supreme Court's verdict in such matters and stands by it. He said he "regretted" the efforts made by some people to give a communal colour to the apex court verdict. On the issue of the land Bill, the former Union minister alleged that changes were made in it by the NDA dispensation to favour some industrialists.
"Congress's stand is clear on it. We are firm that we will not allow any anti-farmer provision in it. We want that the Bill passed during UPA regime should be implemented," he said.