Home India Politics Act against Chidambaram, BJP tells PM

Act against Chidambaram, BJP tells PM


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take action against Home Minister P. Chidambaram over his alleged links with the spectrum pricing controversy.

“Let heads roll if need be,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told a news conference here, a day after the prime minister, on his return from the UN, defended Chidambaram.

Pointing out that both Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi had May 22 vowed to fight corruption, she asked: “How did the policy of fighting corruption become a policy of saving corrupt ministers?”

Chidambaram has been embroiled in a row since a note from the finance ministry hinted that he too was to blame for the spectrum pricing decision that has landed disgraced communication ministers A. Raja in jail.

Sushma Swaraj insisted that “para after para” of the note sent to the Prime Minister’s Office proved that Chidambaram, as then finance minister, was aware of pricing and policies of 2G spectrum allocation.

She also berated the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which she derisively dubbed as the “Congress Bachao Institution”, for declaring that there was no need to probe Chidambaram in the spectrum issue.

Both Sushma Swaraj and her colleague Arun Jaitley denied the prime minister’s charge that the opposition was trying to force early elections.

“If there will be an early election, it will be because of their doing, not because of our asking,” said Sushma Swaraj, who heads the opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Accusing the prime minister of “living in denial”, Jaitley — Sushma Swaraj’s counterpart in the Rajya Sabha — said the prime minister was expected to protect the truth, not “a tainted minister”.

He said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was facing a “crisis of leadership, crisis of credibility”.

“We don’t have the numbers to destabilize the government,” he said. “The government is collapsing under its own contradictions and the liability of its own image.”