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BJP demands Pranab Mukherjee's resignation
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 07, 2006 21:53 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday demanded the resignation of Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, alleging he deliberately mislead Parliament on the navy war room leak issue.
The BJP said Pranab did it despite knowing everything about the case, in which the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested three senior officers of the Indian Navy in countrywide raids on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, BJP spokesman Prakash Javdekar said the information leaked was not merely commercial, but was related to national security too.
"Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has misled Parliament and the nation, by issuing a statement on March 22 that the information that was leaked was merely commercial in nature. Now, it is clear that the information in question is valuable to national security. Revelations elsewhere also point to its link to the Scorpene Submarine deal scam," he charged.
"The navy's affidavit has also affirmed that certain foreigners are involved in the war room leak. Why has the government not named these foreigners and why has no action been initiated against them?
"The BJP believes that the truth in this case is more serious than imagined and the complicity of the government and its diversionary tactics are badly exposed. The defence minister has forfeited his right to occupy the office he holds and, as such, we demand that he resign," Javdekar said.
He also alleged that in an interview with a magazine, a relative of the chief of the naval staff, Ravi Shankaran, has suggested that the defence minister knew everything about the scam.