'The PM is living in denial'
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday reacted strongly to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's allegation that the Opposition was trying to destabilise the government, saying he had "distanced himself from reality".
"This clearly shows that the PM has distanced himself from reality and it is very obvious that he is living in denial," said Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
During a press meet on board Air India One, on his way back from the United States, the PM had also expressed his faith in Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is facing allegations of being involved in the 2G scam.
Reportage: Priyanka in New Delhi
Image: Arun Jaitley
'PM chooses to believe in a tainted minister'
"It would have been better is instead of protecting a tainted minister, the prime minister of the country was seen protecting the truth," said Jaitley.
He pointed out that the prime minister had still not answered any questions about the controversial note on the 2G affair from the finance ministry headed by Pranab Mukherjee.
Jaitley added, "If the prime minister chooses to believe in a tainted minister, the country is bound to lose its confidence in the PM."
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
'Nothing is further from the reality'
Reacting to the PM's claims that there was no dissent between members of the Union Cabinet, Jaitley said, "Nothing could be further from the reality."
Referring to reports about Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office being bugged, Jaitley said, "Never has a Cabinet minister hired a private agency to debug his office, suspecting that somebody in the government is behind the incident."
The prime minister and the Congress cannot get away by merely blaming the Opposition, said Jaitley.
Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram and former telecom minister A Raja
'The government is collapsing'
"We don't have the numbers to destabilise the government. It (lack of stability) is because of the lack of leadership and the lack of credibility in the government and the Congress party. The BJP is not involved in the 2G scam, it is not the beneficiary of the cash-for-votes scam. The government is collapsing because of its own inner conflicts and corruption," Jaitley said.
Sushma Swaraj, leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, also joined her colleague in rebuking the government and the ruling party.
"The Congress can make the two ministers shake hands and make up, but they have to give answers to the people of the country," she said.
"If mid-term polls happen now, it would be because of the doings of the government and not because of our asking," she said.
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
'We act as a constructive and aggressive opposition'
"All our allegations are based on the CAG reports that have been revealed recently. And as a constructive and aggressive opposition, we have brought them out in the open," she added.
Swaraj was also quick to highlight that "Whenever one of the allies of the government is caught on charges of corruption, the Congress party accepts (the charges). But when a Congress leader is accused of corruption, they avoid the issue. According to the Congress, only (Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader) Sharad Pawar is responsible for the price hike; only (former telecom minister and DMK leader) A Raja is responsible for the 2 G scam".
She reminded the PM that he had vowed to fight corruption on May 22, adding that Dr Singh should stay by his commitment.
Image: Sushma Swaraj