BJP rejects Chidambaram's 'self-certified' claim of non-involvement
The party also demanded the resignation of Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran over allegations of quid pro quo in allocating spectrum to Aircel.
The BJP also brushed aside the explanation and defence made by Chidambaram that it was not former Telecom Minister A Raja, who had told corporate lobbyist Niira Radia of the alleged pay-offs made to him, but Reliance Industries Limited group employee K R Raja.
Addressing a news conference in Delhi, BJP national spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, "This is not a case of ignorance or innocence, but a classic case of complicity."
Javadekar also said that 'contemporaneous evidence is always stronger and credible than subsequent self-serving denials', and negated Chidambaram's denial on the basis of an apology tendered by RIL Group President V Balasubramanian to him.
He said after initially opposing the allotment of 2G spectrum at 2001 rates, Chidambaram as Finance Minister had put his stamp of approval on the 2G spectrum allocations made by then Telecom Minister A Raja.
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Image: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram
'Chidambaram owes an explanation on his sudden change of stand'
Chidambaram owed the nation an explanation on his 'sudden change of stand' on the 2G spectrum allocations, he said. "We stand by our demand for the resignation of P Chidambaram," the BJP leader said.
"Chidambaram had been till December 2007, through his notings and letters, insisting that the 2G spectrum should not be sold in 2008 at the rates prevailing in 2001 and instead be auctioned. Later, he suddenly changed his stand in a letter of January 15, 2008, where he mentioned that the method of auction be adopted in future."
By doing so, Javadekar said, Chidambaram had actually put his stamp of approval on the allotments of A Raja on January 11, 2008, by which 2G Spectrum was sold at the 2001 rates, thus causing a loss to the exchequer of Rs 1,76,000 crores.
"Instead of basing his defence on such flimsy apologies, Chidambaram should answer our straight question on why he changed his stand on the pricing of 2G spectrum and explain the deal for his sudden change of heart on the issue," said the BJP spokesman. He said the nation wanted to know who the real culprits of the 2G scam are.
He maintained that the nation had suffered a huge loss and had the right to know was responsible for it.
Image: BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar