Thursday, September 22, 2011

Opposition's sack Chidambaram chorus rises

The opposition chorus for sacking of Home Minister P. Chidambaram grew Thursday over his argued role in the 2G spectrum allocation under UPA-I, brought out by a financing ministry note to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi led the attack, demanding Chidambaram's ouster and calling for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into his role in the 2G spectrum scam when he was financing minister in 2008.

Joshi was joined by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in making the demand. The BJP's Arun Jaitley said the finance ministry note on the role of Chidambaram indicated the UPA government was 'at war amid itself'.

Joshi's call for Chidambaram's sacking came after Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy Wednesday submitted to the Supreme Court documents indicating so Chidambaram, as the then finance minister, was faced in deciding the 2G spectrum price along in on A. Raja, the then communications minister who is now in jail.

The documents filed by Swamy included a communication of Jan 30, 2008, by the department of economic affairs of the mortgages ministry recording the gist of the meeting between Chidambaram and Raja.

'This easily proves that the role of P. Chidambaram as finance minister in the 2G scam... is responsible,' Joshi told reporters here.

'Either he would resign himself or he should be dismissed, I demand it strongly,' he said, inserting who there might also be a CBI probe.

In its note to the Prime Minister's Office, the financing ministry says Chidambaram are able to experience prevented spectrum from making given away at throwaway values if he had insistied on its auction -- implying overly presumptive losses worth thousands of crores could have thus been avoided.

The note, that was apparently shown to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and accessed by way by an software under the Right to Information Act, was prepared by a deputy secretary in the finance ministry and sent to the Prime Minister's Office March 25.

The CPI-M, in a statement, called for a CBI probe and alleged that the finance ministry note to the PMO in March 2011 'has shown authoritatively that Chidambaram had cleared the allotment of licenses for 2G spectrum at the 2001 entry fee even though the finance secretary and his own ministry had pointed out the need for revision of the fee'.

Jayalalithaa, reacting to the developments, told reporters in Chennai that Chidambaram when and if be sacked for his involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.

'The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) should act against Chidambaram like it did against Raja,' Jayalalithaa said.

Jaitley, addressing a function, said: 'The UPA federal is increasingly at war with(in). On the one hand there is lack of trust with people, on the additional there is lack of confidence between ministers. A civil war fancy well being has emerged.'

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi got 'mute spectators'. 'The legitimacy of the government has carried on eroded,' he added.
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