'Ministers Abandoning Cabinet Like Rats Out of Sinking Ship'

New Delhi
'Ministers Abandoning Cabinet Like Rats Out of Sinking Ship'
Days after Dayanidhi Maran quit the union cabinet, CPI today took a dig at the government saying some "wise" ministers are abandoning the cabinet like "rats jump out of sinking ships" and asked why Murli Deora is not resigning even after charges of wrongdoings against him.

He alleged Congress was on the decline and people have "lost faith" in UPA government which speaks regularly about tackling corruption and price rise but does nothing except for getting the ministers under fire resign from the cabinet.

"How many speeches have (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh and (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi made against corruption, but the next day one minister resigns.

"Who is next? In my view, it's Murli Deora. After the allegations levelled against him, what is the propriety in his continuing? He has to go," he told reporters at an interaction organised by the Indian Women Press Corp.

"There are some ministers who are abandoning the ship like rats do when the ship is about to sink...They are wise people. It is like taking anticipatory bail because some of them know that investigations have come close to them and now they are under close watch," he said.

On whether P Chidambaram should resign in the face of allegation against him in 2G spectrum scam, Bardhan said in a lighter vein that the Home Minister is a "big pillar" of the government.

However, he added, it has come to light that he was in agreement with former Telecom Minister A Raja on the controversial first-come-first serve policy of allocating spectrum.

Bardhan's remarks came against the backdrop of Deora's offer to resign following a draft CAG report on oil pricing in KGB basin and Maran resigned from the cabinet a few days ago.

Asked if more ministers could resign due to corruption cases, he said "wait and watch".

Making the party's intention clear about taking on the government, the CPI General Secretary said the monsoon session of Parliament would be the "best" session for the opposition as UPA has "failed" in all respects.

"The Lokpal Bill will have to be introduced in the session and after 42 years of delay, we may get one. We will demand the Bill be listed first for consideration in the House in the meeting of Business Advisory Committee," he said.

On Rahul Gandhi's 'padayatra' in Uttar Pradesh, Bardhan said he should also conduct march in Congress-ruled states as it was not correct to say that land acquisition in Haryana was "perfect" and in Uttar Pradesh otherwise.

"Land is being acquired in Congress-ruled states like Maharashtra and Haryana. I am hearing a strange argument from him (Rahul) that all is perfect in Haryana and everything is wrong in UP. It is not correct," he said noting land acquisition has become a central issue in the country.

On merger of Left parties, he said there were a number of hurdles but it would happen eventually. "We have to overcome subjectivism before unification," he said.

He said it would be "futile" to talk about the Third Front. "Any talk about Third Front boils down to meeting of leaders who differ on a variety of subjects. It is about winning seats only," he said.
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