NEW DELHI: Congress today questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "hesitance" in taking action against BJP leaders on the 'Lalitgate' issue and slammed Home Minister Rajnath Singh for his remarks that no NDA ministers will resign.
The party also released two documents -- Lalit Modi's purportedly signed affidavit to UK border agency and the Witness Statement of Vasundhara Raje, which, it claimed, bears her signature as it fielded a number of spokespersons to take on the government scaling up its charge of Raje backing Lalit Modi's immigration application in UK.
The party made it clear that it will seek to rally around other Opposition parties on the issue, when the Monsoon session convenes on July 21 to corner the Modi government.
Asserting that so far no BJP leader has questioned the validity of these documents, Rajasthan PCC chief Sachin Pilot said that the BJP does not have much time to buy on the issue and demanded that the Prime Minister and his party must come clean on it and threatened to launch a statewide agitation if Raje does not resign.
"BJP does not take even five minutes in firing Home Secretary, Finance Secretary and External Affairs Secretary on any issue but they are not taking action against BJP leaders even as they are accepting their role. This shows the double standards of BJP. They believe in one set of principles for others, and another for their own leaders.
"Why is the Prime Minister shying away from making any comment on it? What is the cause for this silence. Why the BJP is refraining from taking any action? Why is the Prime Minister hesitating in taking any action," he told reporters at the AICC briefing.
Alleging that the BJP is in "complete denial mode", he asked BJP and Modi to have the courage of conviction when allegations against their own leaders have come in public domain. Pilot claimed that Congress President Sonia Gandhi was able to maintain the faith of people in rule of law and Congress ministers resigned even when there was a hint of allegation.
Terming Rajnath Singh's statement that no minister accused will resign as it is an NDA and not UPA government, as an "insult to democracy", party spokesperson Anand Sharma said it deserves strong condemnation. Sharma alleged that Singh's statement underscores the "arrogance, obduracy and confrontational attitude" of the NDA government.
"This stand has unmasked the true face of the BJP, the hypocrisy of its leadership and the double standards. Home Minister needs to be reminded of the BJP stand on this issue when in Opposition and the parameters of accountability for ministers in office prescribed and demanded by it when in Opposition.
"The BJP government is rewriting the rule book to protect its guilty and showing no respect for well established parameters of propriety, probity and accountability in public life. The silence of Prime Minister is an endorsement and makes him complicit. It also makes a mockery of his boastful claims of zero tolerance to corruption and impropriety," he said.
Holding that the Prime Minister's silence and inaction, even as "damning evidence" emerges against Raje on almost a daily basis is understandable, Pilot said, "It now seems clear that his colleagues in the BJP who are now ministers and chief minister, were working in tandem to help Lalit Modi and were in cahoots with this fugitive friend of BJP."
He further alleged that it now seems that when Raje signed the affidavit supporting Lalit Modi, their fugitive friend on sly from the Indian authorities and Indian laws, she had the backing and approval of BJP.
Taking out a June 14 last year tweet of Modi in which he had talked of taking "tough decisions in the interest of the nation", Pilot asked "Does the Prime Minister consider securing residence for an Indian fugitive in a foreign country in national interest? Is this the false patriotism and pseudo-nationalism of BJP?"
"Facts now reveal that in July, 2011, a delegation led by then BJP President Nitin Gadkari and comprising Raje, then Leader of Opposition with Cabinet status in Rajasthan, and Smriti Irani, then President, BJP Mahila Morcha had gone to United Kingdom.
"Photographs of the same are available in public domain. Facts also reveal that Raje had continued to stay in England. Affidavit signed by her in favour of Lalit Modi is dated August 18, 201l. Thus, her presence in England to sign the affidavit in favour of Lalit Modi is also established. In light of this clinching evidence, her guilt is clearly established," the Congress leader claimed.