BJP attacks Sonia at NDA rally

Date: 09 Jan 2011


BJP attacks Sonia at NDA rally \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times Guwahati, January 09, 2011 First Published: 17:53 IST(9/1/2011) Last Updated: 18:02 IST(9/1/2011)\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Putting to rest speculation that they were going soft on her, top BJP leaders chose to attack Congress president Sonia Gandhi directly over "corruption" at the NDA rally here on Sunday, marking a subtle shift from the earlier strategy of making Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the prime target of their attacks. \\\\\\\\\\\ "The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has said that Ottavio Quattrocchi took commission," BJP patriarch LK Advani said at the rally.\\\\\\\\\ "Sonia ji is Congress president. Can she deny what the CBI has said… the driver has said… that Quottrocchi met her many times at her residence?" \\\\\\\\\\\\ This pointed attack came after Leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley had obliquely hit out at the Congress president. \\\\\\\\\\\ "The Congress was dealing with three scams when an old scam came back to haunt them like a ghost. The fourth ghost goes straight to the house of the Congress leadership," Swaraj said. \\\\\\\\\\\\ "Quottrocchi's accounts were defrozen, a judicial agency has now said he got commission. The government and the Congress leadership does not know what to say." \\\\\\\\\\ Jaitley had said just before her: "For 23 years, the Congress' first family tried to cover up the truth about Bofors. The truth has now come out from the ITAT judgment." \\\\\\\\\\ Former BJP president Rajnath Singh too was scathing in his attack, demanding that Sonia Gandhi agree to get her role probed by any agency: "Quottrocchi, who got commission in the Bofors gun deal, was a regular visitor at the house of the Congress president. An article by Gurumurthi accuses the Congress president of having money stashed abroad. I would like to tell Sonia ji - if it is false refute it, or offer to get probed by any agency." \\\\\\\\\\\ He recalled that when accusations had been made against Advani in the hawala case, he had said he would resign from Parliament and not return to it till he got his name cleared. \\\\\\\\\\ Taking corruption as its main focus, the party's political resolution on Sunday also attacked the Congress "first family". \\\\\\\\ "When Sri Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister, Mr Ottavio Quattrocchi had unrivalled access to the prime minister's household…The Congress, particularly its first family, is faced with the power of truth."\\\\\\\\\\ The resolution also dealt with the 2G scam, the Commonwealth Games scandal, and the need for a JPC. \\\\\\\\\\\ Sushma Swaraj defended the stalling of Parliament over the demand for a JPC, saying, "Kabhi kabhi sansad ka na chalna chalne se zyaada prabhaavi hota hai (Sometimes, the non-functioning of Parliament is more powerful than its functioning)." \\\\\\\\\\ The party's attack on the Congress president came in the midst of speculations that the party brass did not want to attack Gandhi directly, particularly after the written text of BJP president Nitin Gadkari's speech did not reflect his verbal criticism of Gandhi on Saturday. \\\\\\\\\\\ Amid the no-holds-barred attack on "UPA corruption" at the alliance rally, Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who is himself battling corruption charges, was not present. \\\\\\\\\\\ Also absent were Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and BJP Assam election in-charge Varun Gandhi. Significantly, ally JD(U), which has been known to be wary of being seen in the company of the two for fear of harming its "secular" image, was represented by Sharad Yadav. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 000000000