UPA government set to sign off with its tainted victory: Advani

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New Delhi, Jul 23 (UNI) Strongly condemning the attempt to lure MPs by offering huge sums of money, senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition L K Advani today said July 22 would go down as a 'black day' in the history of Parliament as the UPA government readied itself to sign off its term with yesterday's 'tainted victory'.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Advani said the attempts to bribe the MPs during the run-up to the confidence vote in Parliament had made him sad and anguished, notwithstanding the government's own track record of total failure in handling rising inflation, receding agricultural production, farmers' suicide, terror and naxal violence.

Mr Advani said the allegations to bribe MPs would have serious implications on India and its democratic institutions. The Bofors scandal no doubt was a milestone in the history of corruption involving powerful men but the attempt to bribe MPs in JMM scandal and yesterday's incident would send a very poor message around the globe about the quality of Parliament as an institution here.

The use of money power showed that the government wanted victory at all costs and the three BJP MPs had shown exemplary courage by exposing the attempts to offer them bribe to vote against the party line.

He was also surprised that the television channel which had conducted the sting operation was yet to submit the tapes to the Speaker. ''The Speaker should order immediate probe on this serious complaint.'' He said BJP and its previous avatar Jana Sangh never defended any colleague when anyone indulged in corrupt practices and it did not take time to act against any colleague whenever a complaint was made.

Disagreeing with the suggestion that the BJP was not serious in bringing down the government because it did not want to see Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati staking claim for prime ministership, Mr Advani said the party had taken a clear stand that there should be elections in the event of fall of Dr Manmohan Singh led coalition in the confidence vote.

Asked if the BJP would consider 'en mass resignation' protesting the incident, like in the Bofors scandal, Mr Advani said it was a 'suggestion for action' but that could happen only if all parties came around collectively.

UNI MCN-AN AM KN1730

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