Ministers abandoning cabinet like rats on sinking ship: Bardhan

New Delhi: Hoping that Parliament`s Monsoon session will be the “best session“ for Opposition to corner the UPA, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan today said some “wise“ ministers are abandoning the cabinet like “rats out of sinking ships“ before investigators reach their doorsteps.

He claimed that the Congress was on the decline and people have lost faith in the UPA which speaks regularly about tackling corruption and price rise but do nothing except for getting ministers under fire resign from the cabinet.

Noting that minister after minister were coming under the scanner of investigating agencies in corruption cases, he said, "How many speeches have (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh and (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi made against corruption but the next day one minister resigns."

"Who is next? In my view it is Murli Deora. After the allegations raised against him, what is the propriety in his continuing. He has to go," he told reporters at an interaction organised by the Indian Women Press Corp.

Bardhan`s remarks came in the backdrop of Deora`s offer to resign ahead of the cabinet reshuffle. However, a section alleges that he offered his resignation so as to preempt investigations into allegations about oil pricing in KGB basin pointed out in a draft CAG report.

"There are some ministers who are abandoning the ship like the rats do when the ship is about to sink…They are wise people. It is like taking anticipatory bail because some of them know that investigations have come close to them and now they are under close watch," he said.

Emphasising that this concerned not only Dayanidhi Maran but also Deora, he said no one knows who is the next in line as minister after minister were coming under the scanner of investigations.

When pointed out that Home Minister P Chidambaram also faces allegation in the 2G spectrum scam and whether he thinks that he will have to hang the boots, Bardhan said in a lighter vein that he is a big pillar of the government.

"But it has come to light that he was in agreement with (former telecom minister) A Raja on the controversial first-come-first serve policy of allocating spectrum," he said.

Asked which ministers could resign due to corruption cases, Bardhan said "wait and watch".

In reply to a question, he said the coming Monsoon session would be the best session for the Opposition as the government has failed in all respects.

"The Lokpal Bill will have to be introduced in the session and after 42 years of delay, we may get one. We will demand the Bill to be listed first for consideration in the House in the meeting of Business Advisory Committee," he said.

On the Rahul Gandhi`s padayatra, Bardhan said he should also conduct `padayatras` in Congress-ruled states and it was not correct to say that land acquisition in Haryana was "perfect" and in Uttar Pradesh otherwise.

"Land is being acquired in Congress-ruled states like Maharashtra, Haryana and other states. I am hearing a strange argument from him that all is perfect in Haryana and is wrong in UP. It is not correct," he said noting that land issue has become a central issue in the country.

On the issue of merger of Left parties, he said there were a number of hurdles but it would happen eventually. "We have to overcome subjectivism before unification," he said.

He said it would be "futile" to talk about Third Front. "Any talk about Third Front boils down to meeting of leaders who differ on a variety of subjects. It is about winning seats only," he said.