HUBLL, India: The Bharatiya J anata Party (BJP) leader, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, has asked the Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, to either step down from office and face an independent inquiry into the serious allegations of corruption against his government or seek a fresh mandate.

Addressing a public meeting here on Saturday night, he said if the Prime Minister did not heed to the demands, the BJP would launch a “jail bharo” movement all over the country from the third week of January next to press for a midterm poll.

Mr. Vajpayee charged that the economic policies adopted by the Centre had led the nation “to the brink of bankruptcy”, and the policy on foreign affairs was “highly questionable”.

About opposition unity, he said, combinations or permutations in the opposition ranks were not the only answer for defeating the Congress (I) at the polls.

Referring to the Thakkar-Nataraian commission report on “Fair-fax”, Mr. Vajpayee said by its conduct the commission had “devalued” the institution of inquiry commission.

Alleging that about Rs. 30,000 corer was lying in foreign banks, he said the commission had bypassed the very basic issue of drawing up ways and means to ensure that the money returned to the country.

Referring to Pakistan’s alleged move towards nuclear weapons Mr. Vajpayee said that time has come for India to produce such ‘weapons.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 1, 1988