Kolkata: Criticising Defence Minister A.K. Antony for not taking action on Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s complaint on Tatra army truck contracts, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday accused Antony of shielding the corrupt and said the Congress-led government had become a hallmark of corruption.
“Antony could have himself ordered a probe into the matter, but he did not do it. It has now been revealed that (now union health minister) Ghulam Nabi Azad had written a communication on this very Tatra truck contracts in 2009. A probe was initiated then but why has the probe not yet been completed in 30 months,” BJP MP Prakash Javadekar told media persons here.
Media reports suggested that Antony had not acted on the complaints from Dr. D. Hanumanthappa, president of the Karnataka wing of All India Federation of SC/ST/Backward Classes and Minority Employees Welfare Association, who wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in October 2009.
The letter was forwarded by party leader Azad to Antony on behalf of Gandhi, the reports suggested.
Javadekar rejected Antony’s contention that he could not act on the army chief’s information on bribe offer as there was no written complaint and claimed that a complaint in black and white did exist.
There were media reports earlier this month suggesting that Indian Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh had raised the issue of graft in the defence deals and informed Antony of bribe offers from a retired officer over the truck deal.
“That means you are shielding the corrupt elements, you are doing cover up. He has failed as defence minister he has no moral right to continue. He should resign,” he said.
Javadekar criticised Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s budget proposals.
“In the coming days there will be inflation in all sectors. It will have a cascading effect. The BJP will fight against the anti-people policies of UPA (United Progressive Alliance) of which the Trinamool is a partner. The Trinamool cannot run away from its responsibilities.”
Javadekar said that corruption had become a hallmark of the Congress-led UPA regime.
“Corruption has become a hallmark of this Congress-led UPA regime. From CWG (2010 Commonwealth Games) to this recent defence deal it has been seen that this government tries to shield the corrupt,” he said.
“Everybody has lost faith in this rudderless government. Whenever the elections may be whether it is in 2013 or 2014, this government is all set to go.”