NEW DELHI: In a veiled message to the Modi government in the wake of the controversy over Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje, BJP patriarch L K Advani today said there is a need to maintain probity in public life and recalled how he resigned soon after his name cropped up in the Hawala scam.
Advani resigned as an MP in 1996 following allegations of his involvement in the infamous Hawala scam and he was consequently re-elected in 1998 after his name had been cleared.
Entries found in the diaries of Hawala broker S K Jain were presented as crucial evidences against top politicians including Advani in the court by CBI.
"For a politician, to command people's trust is the biggest responsibility. What morality demands that is 'rajdharma' and need to maintain probity in public life," Advani was quoted as having told the Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.
Swaraj and Raje are embroiled in the Lalit Modi controversy over extending help to the tainted former IPL boss in connection with his travel documents in the UK triggering demands by the Congress for their resignation.
Advani did not want to comment on the controversy involving Swaraj and Raje.
"I am far away from all this today. So I don't have anything to comment. I am not in the decision making and so I have no comments to offer in the matter," he added.
The online edition of the daily quoted the former deputy prime minister as having said that he quit on his own after the hawala scam.
"The day allegations were raised against me based on Jain diaries that evening itself sitting in my house in Pandara road I took the decision to resign(as MP). It was no one else's decision, it was mine. Soon after I called up (Atal Bihari) Vajapyee to inform my decision. He asked me not to resign but I did not listen to anyone," he said.
"People vote for us in elections. So commitment to the people is most important."
Asked whether resignation should be the norm, Advani said, "I can tell about myself. What others will do, what's their issues, what their problems are I don't know. And I don't want to comment on these."
On former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who resigned following corruption charges, he said, "Since Jan Sangh era... even before that in RSS shakhas, we were taught honesty is the best virtue. There should be no compromise on corruption."
Reacting to Advani's remarks, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said he is showing the way to the BJP as well as the Prime Minister that those people who are "tainted" should be made to resign whether it is Raje or Swaraj or anyone else.