New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Raking up the Punjab National Bank fraud and the Rafale deal with France, the Congress on Saturday attacked the BJP on the issue of corruption saying the country has seen scams, scandals and questionable transactions under the watch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Centre and BJP-ruled States and .
It also accused the ruling party of maintaining double standards on corruption saying that it lacks “sincerity” in fighting graft to ensure transparency and accountability.
The political resolution adopted at the party’s two-day Plenary alleged that the defence acquisition process has been manipulated and country’s defence preparedness has been compromised.
“The Rafale jet deal to purchase 36 fighter jets at hugely inflated prices has raised serious questions,” it said.
“The decision was arbitrary and announced by the Prime Minister, without the prior approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Surprisingly the decision was taken when the process to acquire 126 fighter jets through a global tender at one third price was near conclusion.
“There is adequate evidence now in public domain, justifying the demand of an impartial and independent probe.”
Accusing the BJP of having double standards on corruption, it said, “The government has refused to take action on serious allegations of corruption against its chief ministers and ministers. It has shielded the corrupt and prevented the investigating and enforcement agencies, from acting as is professionally required even when there is prima-facie evidence. On the contrary, clean chits are sought to be manipulated.”
“The BJP government lacks sincerity in fighting corruption, to ensure transparency and accountability. This is underscored by its non appointment of Lokpal,” it alleged.
The Congress also alleged that there was a nexus between the BJP and those, who have amassed wealth through corruption and generation of black money.
“This is evident from the BJP’s access to unprecedented resources and money, which is brazenly on display in every election and rallies of the party,” it said.
Slamming the government over the Rs 13,540 crore PNB fraud case involving diamond jeweller Nirav Modi and his unclke Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group, it said, “The country has recently seen the biggest bank scam in its history during this government’s tenure.”
“Public Banks have been defrauded of thousands of crores and the accused persons allowed to flee the country. The government agencies, failed to act in time despite alerts against the well connected and high profile perpetrators of fraud,” it said.
The party also said that there is an apprehension in people’s minds over the safety of their money in bank deposits.
The Congress also described terrorism, insurgency and left-wing extremism as grave threats to internal security and slammed the government over the increase in terror attacks along the Line of Control and the International Border.
“Terrorism, violence and attacks along the LOC and IB are grave threats. The alarming increase in incidents of terror attacks are a painful reminder that the infrastructure of the terror syndicates operating from across the border remains largely intact despite claims to the contrary and poses a serious threat to the peace and security,” it said.
It further said that the party deplores the attempt of the government and the BJP to whip up hysteria and create a division in the polity on the issue of counter terrorism on which the whole nation stood united. This is most unfortunate and counterproductive.
“The Congress places on record its appreciation for the sacrifices of our brave soldiers in securing our frontiers and safeguarding India’s territorial integrity. We call upon the government to take the initiative to find a credible and pragmatic solution for restoration of normalcy,” it said.
Targetting the government over the judicial system, the party said: “The judicial system needed urgent reforms for effective and timely dispensation of justice.”
It also said that the huge pendency of cases and providing affordable justice remained a big challenge that needs to be addressed.
The Congress’ political resolution said that under the BJP regime, the people of the country, be it farmers, labourers, unorganised sector workers, self-employed, Dalits, traders, minorities and the poor have been “betrayed”.
“Minorities in the BJP rule have a general fear of insecurity. In a country where the Constitution guarantees freedom, it is unacceptable for the people to be told what to eat and what to wear. The Congress remains committed to ensure the safety of all minorities as equal citizens and to protect their fundamental rights,” it said.
While reaffirming its support to reservation of seats in Parliament and legislatures, the party demanded that the government bring the women’s reservation bill in parliament for passage and implementation before the 2019 general election.
The resolution also accused the BJP government of betraying the youth of India by not fulfilling the promised two crore jobs every year.
“The government not only failed to create jobs but through its decisions, India lost millions of jobs in MSME and informal sector,” it said.
The resolution accused the NDA government of belittling the contributions made by former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.