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Since 1st March, 1999
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Parties trade mud

New Delhi/Raipur, Nov. 20: The war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the cash-on-disc scandal has degenerated into calling each other names.

Stung by the Congress dubbing it the “Bangaru, Judeo Party”, the BJP called it a “Party of Corruption and Conspiracy”, a sobriquet for the Pradesh Congress Committees.

Trashing the century-old party, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedekar spelt out the Congress’ identity as “C for corruption, for opportunistic, for nepotism, G for goondaism, R for rape, E for enmity, S for scam and S for scandal”.

The Congress promptly returned the compliment with another nickname for the BJP — “Bhrasta Jano Ki Party (a party of corrupt people)”. “One scam after another from Tehelka to Judeo has been unearthed during the NDA’s regime,” said Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma while heaping the new epithet.

The party said several Congress leaders, including Sukh Ram, had resigned from government and party posts after scams, but the BJP protected the tainted, be it for Tehelka, for the share and petrol pump scandal or the latest sting operation.

Soon, the BJP mounted another blistering attack on the Congress governments, blaming its Assam dispensation of failing to stop anti-Bihari violence and those in Maharashtra and Karnataka of shying away from a CBI probe into the fake stamp paper scam, saying “dal mein kuch kala hai”.

Javedekar said the CBI was the best agency to probe the scam as it was spread over 10 states and wondered why the Congress was opposing the investigation. An hour later, the Congress announced that the CBI had, in writing, refused to take up the case, quoting the submission of the additional solicitor-general in Bombay High Court.

The investigating agency said it did not have the resources to investigate such a mega scam spread over 10 states. The CBI letter, signed by a joint director, further said Maharashtra is “effectively” investigating the scam and there was no need for it to step in.

“This propaganda will boomerang. It is contrary to facts as known to the home minister. If Advani is not aware of it (the CBI’s refusal), it is a serious matter,” Sharma said.

Campaigning in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi added his sound bytes to the mud-slinging.

Claiming that the Congress had a history of corruption, he said the people of the new state would regret they had Ajit Jogi as their first chief minister. “Whatever has happened to him will help the people of Chhattisgarh understand Ajit Jogi better,” Modi said.

Slipping into his pet anti-Christian rhetoric, he lionised Dilip Singh Judeo, the former Union minister who is the victim of the latest sting operation. “There is a conspiracy to instal a foreign religion in the country and Sonia Gandhi is leading this. If that happens in Mizoram and Chhattisgarh, she will be most happy. Judeo is a victim of the conspiracy,” he said.

Referring to the Election Commission charges against the Congress chief, he added: “She (Sonia Gandhi) is following the ways of Indira Gandhi, her mother-in-law, who had thrown all poll norms to the wind to face a litigation. She will have to pay a price.”

The Congress did not think so. Instead, it claimed the latest scandal has exposed the BJP’s “chhal, chehra and charitra”. “The adarshwadi party of Rambhakts is enmeshed in scams, from Tehelka, share scam, petrol pump scam and now Judeo scam,” Sharma added in Delhi.

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