New Delhi, Nov 20: Seeking to corner the government on the issue of black money and daring it to come clean, BJP leader L K Advani today said that all NDA MPs will give a declaration during the Parliament session commencing next week stating that they do not possess any illegal wealth or bank accounts outside India.
Addressing a huge rally at Ramlila grounds at the culmination of his 38-day anti-corruption yatra, Advani said even though his journey has ended, the battle against corruption would continue.
Accusing the government of “lack of political will” to fight graft, Advani said the only route to end corruption is through public awakening or a change of government.
Flanked by top BJP and NDA leaders, as well as AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha's emissary M Thambidurai, Advani said, “the fog around India's politics will not go automatically. It will go only by public awakening or by the change of government.”
He added, “My Yatra against corruption has ended, but this war will carry on till we conquer corruption.”
“Within one week of the start of the Parliament session on November 22, all NDA MPs will give a declaration that they do not possess any bank account or illegal wealth abroad,” Advani promised.
The 84-year-old BJP leader said the declaration to be handed over by Lok Sabha MPs to the Speaker and Rajya Sabha MPs to the Chairman will read as “I solemnly state and declare that I do not have directly or indirectly any bank account or assets illegally held outside India.”
Expressing dissatisfaction over the government's actions on the issue of black money so far, Advani said, “I am unhappy that on black money, the government has not provided any concrete information or steps taken by it.
“The main reason for not eradicating corruption was not the lack of laws, but the lack of will to act against corruption,” he alleged and said, “This battle will continue till the time the nation was satisfied that corruption was actually removed.”
He also favoured a strong Lokpal bill and said he would ascertain the progress made by the parliamentary Standing Committee on the much-awaited measure.
Addressing the rally, Advani said he missed the presence of his party colleague Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was ailing.
He said he had not seen much support during any of his yatras earlier.
“I received an overwhelming welcome in various states. But this was the first yatra when Vajpayeeji was not with me,” he said.
Earlier, Advani welcomed the court vedict in a graft case against former Telcom Minister Sukhram who was in the P V Narasimha Rao cabinet.
“It is the judiciary which is doing better (than the government) in the task of eradicating corruption,” he told a gathering in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi.
Terming his yatra as a success, Advani said it was mainly due to the public support that he got all over the country, which indicated that the people were fed up with the present government and wanted a change.
“I am happy to see the support of people against corruption,” said Advani, adding that the situation has arisen for a change of regime. He also alleged that the Prime Minister had “lost his credibility”.
Advani also made a mention of the strong support received by his yatra in Tamil Nadu, where the BJP did not even have an MLA or MP.
Earlier, blaming the wrong policies of the UPA, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of leading the “most corrupt” government. She also charged the prime minister with putting the onus of scams on his colleagues.
She said women were badly hit due to the price rise and Advani had embarked on his country-wide yatra to highlight the failures of the UPA government.
“The yatra has ended but not the struggle,” said Sushma Swaraj, adding that while under the leadership of Advani the NDA will lead the fight in Parliament, party chief Nitin Gadkari will lead the fight outside on the streets.
“Today there is a feeling of mistrust about politics and political leaders in our country. But if in a democracy there is a feeling of mistrust about political leaders then the existence of democracy itself would be in danger,” Swaraj said.
“It is only political parties that can be an instrument of change of rule,” she said.
“The UPA government has become unpopular because of the rising prices and has earned a bad name because of corruption. We have raised the issue of price rise in the parliament but it does on affect the insensitive government,” Swaraj said.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said there is a crisis of leadership and credibility in the UPA. The nation's economic status is in doldrums, he said.
Referring to the recent investigations into telecom policy of the NDA, Jaitley said the Congress was trying to hit at the BJP to create a moral equivalent for corruption of its own government at the Centre.
“For eleven years there was no objection to the NDA's Telecom policy. The CBI also did not raise any objection, there was no such discussion in Parliament, no adverse CAG report or no mention in the media but in order to create a moral equivalent, the government's policy is that if we are corrupt, we will also strike at you,” Jaitley said.
“The country's economic situation is in danger. Prices are touching the sky and investors who wanted to invest in the country feel that investing abroad is a better option. In each and every economic sector there the situation is perilous but the government is behaving as if it is in a state of paralysis,” Jaitley further added.
Advani also presented before the crowd his former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, MP Ashok Argal, ex-MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora released on bail recently in the cash-for-votes scam, describing them as the whistleblowers.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav said no scam or corruption issue will be allowed to be covered up.
Yadav, who is also convenor of the BJP-led NDA, said the government was soft on Congress leaders who are allegedly involved in corruption scams. He sought public support in forming a new India free from corruption.
He said while only one Congress member (Suresh Kalmadi) was in Jail, no Congress leader was arrested in the cash-for-votes or other scams and the opposition leaders who blew the lid were jailed instead.
“Kalmadi is only the elephant's tail, the elephant is still moving free,” he said, adding that “no one will be spared... You (Congress) have committed sin and you will be punished for your sins... They should all be punished as per law. This is the purpose of the opposition and NDA.” he said.
“You have committed the sin and remember you will be punished for your sins. That is the intention of Advani's yatra,” Yadav said, putting a united face of the NDA ahead of the winter session of parliament that begins Tuesday.
Among other leaders who also spoke included former BJP president Rajnath Singh, AIADMK's M Thambidurai and RPI chief Ramdas Athvale, while others who were there included Shiv Sena's Anant Geete and SAD's Manjit Singh.