BJP demands PM, Chidambaram quit; Congress dismisses Raja’s claim (Lead)

July 25th, 2011 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday seized on the allegations of former communications minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum controversy to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram, but the Congress dismissed out of hand the DMK leader’s charges.

Launching the party’s attack, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said that Raja made it clear in the court that all transactions in the 2G case were cleared after permission was given by the prime minister and Chidambaram.

“Sonia Gandhi (Congress chief) always claims that action will be taken against those found corrupt… then why silence on this matter? I want to ask Sonia Gandhi whether Raja’s confession in the court is direct evidence of the prime minister and Chidambaram’s involvement (in the scam).”

“I want to know their involvement in the whole scam. Sonia Gandhi should clarify what action the Congress party will take against them,” Gadkari said, dubbing the 2G corruption scandal the “biggest scandal of Independent India”.

“I demand their resignation as they (prime minister and Chidamabaram) have no right (to continue),” he said.

Raja, an accused in the corruption case who is now jailed, said in a special court that the transactions made in the allocation of 2G spectrum were known to the prime minister and then finance minister.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said that Raja was an accused in the 2G spectrum case and his lawyer was making arguments after framing of charges. Tewari said Raja’s comments will not have an impact on relations between the DMK and the Congress.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate to give comments on the remarks of an accused… The prime minister’s honesty, rectitude and integrity does not require a certificate from anyone. Putting an allegation on him is like trying to spit on the sun,” he said.

“The accused may say anything in his defence, it will be a very sad day for Indian democracy if we start placing unnecessary reliance on the comments of an accused trying to present his case,” Tewari said.

Making counter-charge at the BJP, he said that former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee took away charge of telecommunications from Jagmohan during the Kargil war.

Tewari alleged that the policy of migration adopted by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Vajpayee had caused a loss of Rs.43,000 crore to the exchequer.

“At today’s prices, it (the loss) will be Rs.1,70,000 crore. Before talking about the prime minister whose rectitude the world respects, they (BJP) should introspect,” Tewari said.

Tewari refuted suggestions that Raja’s allegations coming a day after the two-day DMK meet in Chennai reflected the party’s stance towards the Congress.

“As for the question of alliance, it is strong. There is no problem. Every party has a different perspective to look at events,” he said.

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