New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani Saturday accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of coming up with a “preposterous thesis” that victory in the election is exoneration of crimes committed by the victor earlier.
In the latest post on his blog, Advani referred to Singh’s statement in parliament Friday following opposition furore over the WikiLeaks claim, citing US diplomatic cables, that the government had stacked up money to win the 2008 trust vote by paying cash to parliament members.
The prime minister mentioned the reduced strength of both the BJP and the Left in parliament in the 2009 general elections and said that the opposition parties were raking old charges that have been dismissed by people.
Referring to the PM’s statement, Advani in his blog wrote that by the same logic the country’s electorate had pronounced former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi guilty in Bofors gun scandal as the Congress tally in 1989 general election fell to 197 seats from 415 in 1984.
“Since when has an election victory come to be regarded as exoneration of crimes committed by the victor before his election? Does the prime minister realise the serious implications of this absurd thesis?,” Advani asked in his blog.
The BJP leader said that all political analysts will readily accept that the core issue in the 1989 Lok Sabha polls, in which Rajiv Gandhi lost to V.P. Singh, was the Bofors gun scandal.
Advani added that Rajiv Gandhi, who in 1984 had secured an all-time record of 415 seats, ended up with 197 seats in 1989.
“After this new thesis put forth by Dr. Manmohan Singh to claim that the people of India have endorsed his brazen bribery shenanigans, does he realise that by the same logic the 1989 verdict of the Lok Sabha would mean that the Indian electorate had pronounced Rajiv Gandhi guilty in the Bofors scandal?,” Advani wrote.
He said cash-for-votes scam of July 2008 was the biggest scandal that took place in independent India and the prime minister made a “frantic but futile effort to whitewash” it.
He said leaders of the opposition in the two houses, BJP’s Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, had already posed queries to the prime minister about his moral responsibility for the incidents relating to the trust vote.
The two leaders had said there was admittedly a case of bribery and had asked the prime minister why his government had not initiated probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the matter, the BJP leader said.
Terming the prime minister’s thesis as “preposterous,” Advani said he would like Congressmen to raise questions to their leader.
Singh, in his statement in parliament, referred to the committee constituted by the 14th Lok Sabha to investigate allegations of bribery.
He said he was disappointed that members of the opposition had forgotten what happened thereafter.
“Upon the conclusion of the term of the 14th Lok Sabha, there was a general election. In that general election, the opposition parties repeated their allegations of bribery in the trust vote,” Singh recalled.
“How did the people respond to those allegations? The principal opposition party which had 138 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha was reduced to 116 seats in the 15th Lok Sabha.”
“The left parties found that their tally was reduced from 59 to 24. It is the Congress party alone which increased its tally from 145 to 206, an increase of 61 seats,” Singh said.
“It is unfortunate that the opposition continues to raise old charges that have been debated, discussed and rejected by the people of India,” the prime minster said.