NEW DELHI: Just as BJP patriarch LK Advani drove down to his colleague Murli Manohar Joshi’s residence on Thursday and was joined by two others, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha, to discuss Kirti Azad’s suspension from the party, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi waded into the Jaitley-DDCA controversy to target the Prime Minister.
Not that Rahul’s lines were new, he reiterated what his party had said while attacking the government on the Vyapam and Lalit Modi scandals. “When Modiji was campaigning, he said he will neither indulge in corruption nor let anyone do it... But, today his own MP has pointed at corruption, but Modiji is silent,” he taunted. BJP MP and former cricketer Azad was suspended from the party on Wednesday for attacking Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDC) accounts, when he headed the cricket body.
If Rahul demanded that the Prime Minister “should order an inquiry and must take action”, his party colleagues in Delhi, Ashwini Kumar and Randeep Singh Surjewala, hit out at Jaitley for what they called his “doublespeak” on DDCA, parliament disruptions and GST.
The BJP, meanwhile, focused its counter-attack on Rahul. BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma pointed out that Jaitley had got a clean chit during the UPA’s tenure. “Rahul Gandhi should remember that. The allegations are false and foolish,” he said, asking the Congress VP to introspect. “He has committed fraud and got bail in the National Herald matter,” Sharma bitingly added.
Interestingly, one of the main players in controversy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, took a break from the issue on Thursday, instead focusing on what had earned him brownie points a few weeks ago — pollution control.