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BJP targets PM for silence on Saptarishi issue


May 10, 2005 16:17 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his 'silence' over L V Saptarishi's 'unsubstantiated allegations' against two election commissioners. Saptarishi was a special observer in Bihar during the Lok Sabha election .

The BJP demanded the dismissal of the senior Indian Administrative Service officer, currently director general of the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology, for violating civil servant conduct rules.

"We are being confronted with a bizarre scenario, where a serving bureaucrat levels unsubstantiated allegations against a constitutional authority, a minister (Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav) demands the resignation of ECs (B B Tandon and N Gopalaswamy) on the basis of a letter written to another minister (Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj), who denies having received it, and the prime minister is silent. He is a weak prime minister not in control of the situation," senior BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a dinner hosted by the Bar Council of Delhi for a delegation of Pakistani judges and lawyers.

Terming Saptarishi's allegations as a serious case of violation of conduct rules, Prasad demanded that he be dismissed from service.

"I doubt the government has the guts to do so," he added.

On Bhardwaj's statement that he did not receive a letter from Saptharishi, he said, ''Disowning the letter simply will not suffice.''

The BJP leader alleged a quid pro quo between Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Saptarishi, who works under him.

The IAS officer wrote against the ECs on May 6 and, around the same time, Singh tried to get him a three-year term as CAPART director general, he alleged.


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