PM, Chidambaram SHOULD quit, says BJP
Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari on Monday demanded the resignations of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram in the wake of former telecom minister A Raja's claim that both of them were aware of his decisions about the 2G auction.
"After A Raja's statement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram have lost the moral right to continue in office and they should tender their resignations with immediate effect," he said at a press conference.
Reportage: Onkar Singh
Image: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari
'What will Sonia Gandhi do'
Raja told a Delhi court hearing the 2G case that Chidambaram, then finance minister, had told the PM that dilution of shares by 2G licencees to attract Foreign Direct Investment did not amount to sale of licence.
"When I said that United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi's efforts to curb corruption were as good as Pakistan's claims on fighting terrorism, there was a furore in the political circles. I would like to know what action she now proposes to take against Dr Singh and Chidambaram," said Gadkari.
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
'Gadkari should have consulted Jaitley'
Reacting to Gadkari's statement, Telecom Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told a press conference that it was "unfortunate" that the president of a national political party had demanded resignations on the basis of arguments made by Raja in the court.
"He (Gadkari) should have consulted Arun Jaitley (senior BJP leader) or some other lawyer," Sibal observed.
On the allegations that two new telecom licencees -- Unitech and Swan -- divested their equity at premium, the telecom minister asserted that "there was no disinvestment and it was only dilution of stake by bringing in additional equity".
Image: Former telecom minister A Raja
'BJP has no other issue'
Asked whether the prime minister knew about the dilution of equity by Unitech and Swan, Sibal said, "Yes, the PM knew that it was dilution of equity by way of issuing new shares and there was no divestment of promoters' equity".
He also took a dig at BJP for not acting against Karnataka Chief Minister B Yeddyruppa who is facing allegations of corruption.
"The way these issues are being raised by them (BJP) ahead of Parliament session, it seems they have no other issue and they are adopting these tactics to disrupt the session," Sibal said.
With additional inputs from PTI
Image: Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal