Advani calls PM ‘weak’, Cong hits back

New Delhi, February 15 (Agencies): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are involved in a war of words over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and various cases of corruption. The first salvo was fired by senior BJP leader LK Advani on Tuesday when he Singh on the various scams and corruption cases that have hit the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government. Calling Singh a “weak” Prime Minister, Advani said that he feels sorry for him. “I feel sorry for Manmohan Singh. He is a weak Prime Minister. A person can be good but if he is weak and becomes the Prime Minister he can’t control corruption. A Prime Minister for the first time had to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court,” said Advani.
“If JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) is constituted only for 2G scam then only DMK will be tainted. We want JPC on all scams including Commonwealth games and He asked the Government to reveal the names of all the people whose phones have been tapped. “We demand a list of people whose phones are tapped and the reasons behind it. The Government must come clean on it. This is against democracy. We want full investigation,” he added. The Congress hit back at Advani with party MP and spokesperson Manish Tewari saying that the BJP leader “has started sounding like a stuck gramophone record”.
“There should be no politics on parliamentary democracy. The Opposition should allow Parliament to function. Mr Advani, I can only say I pity him. Unfortunately chairperson of NDA has started sounding like a stuck gramophone record. This was said in 2009 elections,” said Tewari. “They (BJP leaders) had launched a personal campaign against the Prime Minister which doesn’t behove his stature. But this was rejected by people. BJP has perfected a strategy of shoot and scoot. I would like to ask Mr Advani where does BJP stand on issue of corruption in Karnataka? Have they taken any substantive stand on Karnataka?” asked Tewari.,” he said.
 
PM to explain tomorrow his silence on UPA scams
 
New Delhi, February 15 (Agencies):  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been accused by the Opposition of remaining silent on various scams haunting his government, will meet editors of television channels tomorrow for a question-answer session that will be telecast live. This would be the first such interaction with the media since his government faced one scam after another relating to allocation of 2G spectrum, CWG, Adarsh housing and the latest S-band controversy involving ISRO.
Sources said Singh, who has been targetted by the BJP for “inaction” and silence, is likely to utilise the opportunity to clear the air. The press meet at Prime Minister’s Race Course Road residence will be telecast live by Doordarshan at 11 am tomorrow. During the media interaction taking place just ahead of the Budget session of Parliament, the Prime Minister is expected to outline various steps taken by the government to check corruption, sources said.
The Prime Minister had interacted with senior editors of the print media in September last and responded to a range of questions. In the run-up to the Budget session, Congress has given broad indications that it is not averse to a JPC to probe the 2G scam if the opposition is ready for a prior debate and agree to modalities for such an inquiry. The Congress top brass including the Prime Minister and party chief Sonia Gandhi had deliberated on the matter at the core group meeting yesterday to ensure a smooth start to the budget session beginning on February 21.
The entire winter session was a washout over the JPC issue. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has convened a meeting of all political parties on Feb 20. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to meet once again leaders of various parties ahead of the session to resolve the issue.


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