New Delhi: Embattled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday led a protest in the Capital against the Congress-led government on issues such as foreign direct investment (FDI) in supermarkets, high inflation and corruption.
Gadkari himself is fending charges of corruption and demands by some BJP leaders that he quit as party president.
The nationwide protest of the main opposition party against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government comes a day before Parliament’s winter session is scheduled to begin.
The BJP plans to initiate a debate in Parliament on the FDI issue and call for a vote, rather than support a no-trust motion against the government, according to some party leaders.
BJP members carried banners demanding probes against Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and his brother-in-law Robert Vadra in alleged cases of corruption.
Gadkari, speaking at a public forum for the first time after the corruption charges against him surfaced, used the platform to announce that he was clean and that the charges were motivated. “Our character is clean. We have not done anything wrong. We are ready for any probe,” he said.
“Congress is misusing CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) against Mayawati (chief of the the Bahujan Samaj Party), the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), SP (Samajwadi Party) and other allies. Wrong allegations have been levelled against the BJP. Whosoever wants to probe, can probe. We are not scared,” he said.
On foreign investors in supermarkets, he said, “Foreign companies will pay well in first two-three years, but after that they will exploit farmers and traders.”
Gadkari also pointed out to the rising commodity prices. “The number of unemployed has gone up and farmers are committing suicide,” he said. “Poverty is rising because of wrong economic decisions and corrupt Congress government that have ruled over 50 years.”
The BJP president said only his party and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by it was an alternative to the UPA.
“This government is in intensive-care unit and can go any time. Nobody today listens to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Whenever the opposition tries to bring no-confidence motion, government misuses CBI cases and files to scare its allies,” Gadkari said.