BJP digs out fresh scams

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  • Published 22.10.03

New Delhi, Oct. 22: Having gone hammer and tongs at the Chhattisgarh chief minister recently, the BJP has now turned its attention to the Congress regimes in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where it claims to have “unearthed” scams.

But while the charges against Ajit Jogi were more serious in nature, those against Digvijay Singh and Ashok Gehlot are somewhat lighter.

The BJP dubbed Jogi a “fake” after the CBI chargesheeted him for “fraudulently” using a forged document to show that the Intelligence Bureau was out to frame him. The chief minister is also in a spot over his acquisition of an allegedly forged scheduled tribe status certificate and his son’s appearance for Union Public Service Commission examinations despite being a US citizen.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said Digvijay should explain why the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation had defaulted in repaying the bond money it owed to its creditors.

He said the Mumbai District Cooperative Bank had invested Rs 100 crore in the corporation in 2001, but the interest had not been paid since April 2002. “The total dues have gone up to Rs 120 crore in this case; eight cheques worth Rs 111 crore were not honoured,” the spokesperson said.

Javadekar called the default a “big scandal” and demanded Digvijay “come clean on this”.

He said the Maharashtra government had filed an FIR against the defaulting corporation. When asked about the cooperative bank scams in Gujarat which have left thousands of private depositors stranded, the spokesperson responded: “But where does Gujarat come in the picture? It is MP (Madhya Pradesh) which is going to polls.”

Javadekar also referred to a letter dated October 10, 2003 from the programme implementation department of the Gehlot government, addressed to secretaries of various Rajasthan departments.

He quoted secretary A.K. Singh as directing the secretaries to update him on important decisions their departments had taken over the last four-and-a-half years. This would help “compile (the) progress regarding implementation of the (1998) Congress election manifesto”.

Javadekar said the letter was a “blatant violation” of the Election Commission’s model code of conduct for it was issued after the code came into effect. He asked the poll panel to intervene in the matter.

After putting the Congress on the mat, the spokesperson went on to eulogise the National Democratic Alliance government’s “achievements” on the economic front. He began with the “latest” achievement — reducing interest on housing loans to 6 per cent.

“This is the result of (the) sustained pragmatic economic policies of the central government. All sectors of the economy are looking up. Growth rate will touch 6 per cent. Forex reserves have crossed an all-time high of $90 billion.... Debtor India has become lender India,” Javadekar claimed.

He sought to link these statistics with the “market boom” during Diwali. “It will be a different Diwali for common citizens than they had experienced earlier during the Congress regime. The coming Diwali will be a buyer’s Diwali as we are witnessing a ‘market of abundance’. No shortages, no queues. All commodities are available in plenty.... Purchasing power has increased,” the spokesperson said.

He contrasted this with the “gloom-and-doom” pervading Congress-ruled states. “No good roads. No sufficient and potable water. No adequate power. No action on dengue. No action on rising price of onions. Suicides by farmers. Dilapidated financial position. This is the achievement of Congress-ruled states,” Javadekar said.