The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP ups 'tainted' pitch
- Rivals pounce on Laloo notice, swipes at PM
Laloo Prasad Yadav at the East Central Railways' zonal office in Hajipur during its Establishmnt Day celebration on Friday. (PTI)

New Delhi, Oct. 1: The Supreme Court notice to Laloo Prasad Yadav on a petition accusing the railway minister and his wife Rabri Devi of interference in the fodder scam and assets cases has come as a shot in the arm for the BJP.

The party stepped up its offensive against the United Progressive Alliance government, raising the pitch for the removal of the 'tainted' ministers.

BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley said the UPA should be rechristened United Tainted Alliance. 'Since the formation of this government, we have been demanding the removal of the tainted ministers because the credibility of the government is going down with their presence,' he told reporters today. 'In the last four months, we have been drawing the government's attention to the issue' and the misuse of government machinery to wipe out the taint.'

Jaitley added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress ministers could not escape culpability as 'the entire Centre's patronage is there'. 'Congress and PM Manmohan Singh cannot distance themselves from this.'

In a swipe at Singh, Jaitley said: 'The nation's expectations from the PM is less and it has more confidence in the apex court. But we hope that it is not yet late for maintaining cleanliness of administration and the PM should free the nation from tainted ministers.'

Asked how the court indictment would impact the Bihar polls, a state BJP source said: 'In fact, Laloo may gain because his party will again propagate the view that this is an upper-caste conspiracy against the backward castes. A judicial ruling makes sense only to the educated elite who in Bihar are not too active politically.'

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