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'PM proved he was incapable of taking decisions'

Last updated on: February 16, 2011 14:47 IST

'Why didn't the PM agree on JPC earlier?'

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday pulled up Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, saying his comments made during the interaction with top television news channel editors had exposed the weakness of the United Progressive Alliance government in fighting corruption.

"As an Opposition party, we are raising the issues that concerns the nation. I appreciate Dr Manmohan Singh's admission that he is not so much a culprit as he is being made out to be. But his press conference was a big disappointment. What I fail to understand is that if the government is now ready to have a JPC probe then why they could it not do the same earlier, which would have ensured smooth running of the Winter session of the Parliament," BJP President Nitin Gadkari said.

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Image: BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari

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'UPA government has no will to fight corruption'

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"This UPA government has no will to fight corruption. The media interaction was a cover-up act on corruption," Gadkari said, asserting that blaming everything on coalition politics was an attempt to cover up failure by the government.

Further cementing on the statements made by the Prime Minister on the 2G spectrum scam, Gadkari said: "He compared spectrum prices to price of fertilizers, oil prices and food prices, this is a matter to laugh at."

The Prime Minister had earlier stated that he was not aware of the methodology of the controversial First-Come, First-Serve policy followed for 2G spectrum allocation by former Telecom Minister A Raja.

During his interaction, Dr Singh said: "Who got the licences... how FCFS was implemented, this was never discussed with me nor was it brought to the Cabinet. This was exclusively Telecom Minister's decision."

He, however, said that since the Ministries of Finance and Telecom had agreed to continue with the existing policy of allocating 2G Spectrum.

"I did not feel that I was in a position to insist that auction must be insisted," he added.

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'How can the PM outsource his ministry to a person like A Raja?'

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On retaining Raja as the Telecom Minister in the UPA-II, Dr Singh said in a coalition government, the choices of the Leaders of the Alliance partners have to be accepted and that the DMK had suggested Raja and Dayanidhi Maran into the Union Cabinet.

"At that moment, there was no reason to feel that anything wrong had been done," he said.

Dr Singh further said Raja has assured him of complete transparency in the allocation of 2G Spectrum.

Gadkari, however, slammed the prime minister's contention. He said: "I wonder how the prime minister can outsource his ministry to a person like A Raja, who was disobeying his directives. While admitting that there were scams, the prime minister continued to defend Raja."

A Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.

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'People of India would remove PM from the post'

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He praised fellow party leader L K Advani for telling the people of India that Manmohan Singh had proved to be the weakest prime minister of India since independence.

"When Advani ji made this statement in 2009 he was telling the nation what has proved to be a historic truth. When Advani ji makes the same statement now, people of India believe him because they are the victims of high rates of the food and other essential commodities in the UPA regime," Gadkari said.

The BJP chief alleged that the prime minister had himself admitted in response to various questions that he was incapable of taking action, as he was bound by the 'coalition dharma'.

Asked if the prime minister should step down, he said, "In cricket, when a team wins the captain gets the trophy and when it loses the captain gets removed. I am nobody to remove him. The people of India would remove him from the post when the elections are held."

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