Advani slams UPA on black money issue

Patna: Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday alleged the Congress-led UPA government has failed to bring back the ill-gotten wealth to the tune of trillions of dollars stashed in foreign banks and was unresponsive to the sentiments of people on issues of corruption and price rise.

"Instead of taking measures to bring back the black money laundered in foreign banks by the corrupt, the Congress-led government has been harping on the growth as a diversionary tactics on the corruption issue," he said at a public meeting at the historic Gandhi Maidan after kicking off `Jan Chetna Yatra` from Chapra. "Enough is enough," Advani said in a stern warning to the UPA "to mend its ways" on tackling corruption and black money issues and said he has set out on sixth `yatra` of his political career after sensing that people were no more prepared to tolerate corruption.

The senior BJP leader claimed black money was laundered in foreign banks during the ongoing term of the UPA government too. Advani also alleged Congress-led government at the Centre indulged in the cash-for-votes scams to win over opposition MPs to secure majority in the confidence vote in 2007.

The present government was not only brazen in adopting corrupt means to stay in power but even went on to prosecute the whistle bloweres, including his own aide Sudheendra Kulkarni and sent all of them behind bars, he charged. Claiming that the `whistle blowers` in the cash-for-vote scam had committed no mistake in "exposing corruption", Advani said if the three BJP MPs and Kulkarni were guilty, then he was ready to be sent behind the bars as well as he was aware about the developments regarding the matter.

The senior BJP leader also took to task the Centre on the price rise and inflation issues and said prices of essential commodities have multiplied much to the chargin of the people as their income correspondingly has not increased. Returning to the black money issue, Advani asked the UPA government to follow the path of some western countries which relentlessly pursued with the Swiss banks` authorities for return of their ill-gotten wealth to tide over financial crisis.

Advani was effusive in his praise for the people of Bihar for extending their "unprecedented" support to him with his cavalcade taking eight hours to reach Patna from Sitabdiara. The BJP patriarch also thanked the JD(U) leadership for their cooperation in the successful launch of the `Jan Chetna Yatra` with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar himself flagging off the event at Chapra earlier in the day and the party`s President Sharad Yadav sharing the dais at the public meeting in Patna.

On the occasion, a theme song called `Sankalp geet`, rendered by Raza Hasan and directed by Mani Shankar, was played on the public address system.