Tatra scam second biggest after Bofors, says BJP

BJP on Saturday said the Tatra scam was the second biggest after the Bofors scam and demanded immediate resignation of Defence Minister AK Antony for allegedly patronising corruption.

“This (Tatra) is the second biggest scam after the Bofors scam and it has exposed that weapons of our soldiers are not up to the standard,” BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javdekar told a press conference here.

Javedkar alleged that the defence minister was in the know of things and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had in 2009 made a communication to Antony about the scam and alerted the government.

“But the defence minister did not act in the last 30 months,” he said, demanding immediate resignation of Antony “who has lost moral right to continue as defence minister.”

Javdekar said he was not satisfied with the statement of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that there was no rift between the defence minister and Army Chief Gen V K Singh. “They are trying to hide facts.”

The BJP leader criticised the Centre, particularly Antony, for “sitting on the issue for 30 months even as he knew all the facts and crying hoarse about absence of a written complaint.”

Javdekar, who raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, demanded a clear statement from the government about the action it had taken so far on the “highly vital” issue.

Alleging that corruption has been the hallmark of the Congress-led UPA government, Javdekar said, “After CWG, 2G spectrum, massive scam around defence purchases have exposed the government once again.

“What can be worse that we are not well equipped in our defence preparedness under the present regime.”

Stating a report has been received that there was derth of planes for pilots’ training in the defence force, he said “this is a precarious condition of the Central government.”

“It is a Dalal raj that has thrived under the UPA governnance and that is running on commission basis,” the BJP leader said.

Criticising the Centre for putting “heavy burden” on the common people in the Union Budget, he said BJP would fight the inflationary budge and the policies of the UPA government as also that of its ally Trinamool Congress which had failed to deliver in the past ten months in power in West Bengal.

He claimed that all Congress’ allies — Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, DMK in Tamil Nadu and NCP in Maharashtra — had been vocal against Congress for its poor governance.

“This government at Centre will go either in 2013 or 2014 and BJP is prepared to fight the polls to come to power and bring about a change in the governance,” he said, adding that the country needed a leader like Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Javdekar also demanded that CBI be made an independent agency free of any influence by the ruling party.