The BJP patriarch, LK Advani, has told a leading Bengali newspaper that politicians needed ‘to maintain probity in public life’ adding that he had resigned when his name featured in the infamous Hawala scam.
This may be viewed as his veiled criticism of Modi government, which has been rocked by series of corruption revelations involving its top ministers both at the centre and the state.
The external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and her son Dushyant Singh( also a BJP MP) have been accused of helping the former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi at a time when his passport was revoked by the Indian government and he was being investigated for money laundering.
Opposition have been demanding the resignations of these leaders, but the BJP has, so far, refused to give in to the opposition pressure.
Anandabazar Patrika quoted him as saying, “For a politician, to command people’s trust is the biggest responsibility. What morality demands that is ‘rajdharma’ and need to maintain probity in public life.”
Recalling his his action post revelation that he too was allegedly involved in the Hawala scam, the former deputy prime minister said, “The day allegations were raised against me based on Jain diaries that evening itself sitting in my house in Pandara road I took the decision to resign(as MP). It was no one else’s decision, it was mine. Soon after I called up (Atal Bihari) Vajapyee to inform my decision. He asked me not to resign but I did not listen to anyone.”
Advani had resigned as MP after the allegations were made public, and returned to parliament through re-election in 1998 after his name had been cleared.
Not long ago, the octogenarian leader, had caused embarrassment for the Modi government by saying that the forces ‘that can crush democracy’ still existed and he couldn’t say if the emergency wouldn’t happen today. This, many thought was a indirect reference to his own government at the centre led by Narendra Modi.