The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday asked home minister P Chidambaram to quit for not maintaining recorded minutes of a meeting between him and jailed former telecom minister A Raja on 2G spectrum pricing.
“The then finance minister’s (Chidambaram) position in the cabinet is getting increasingly untenable. He should be removed forthwith,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
“Why didn't they have the minutes of a meeting which was so important. Was it alright to give oral briefing on issue as important as this. A minister who has made such glaring omissions of duty, should not remain in the cabinet,” she said.
In its presentation Thursday to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, the department of economic affairs noted that the meeting between Chidambaram and Raja took place May 29, 2008. However it was reported that no records of minutes of the meeting were kept.
The BJP demanded a formal enquiry and also demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to clarify on the issue.
“There should be a focused enquiry on how there are no formal minutes or records of such a meeting. Nothing short of an explanation from the prime minister can fill this void in documentary evidence. The prime minister cannot continue with his silence on this matter,” Sitharaman said.
The BJP spokesperson questioned if it was a "deliberate omission".
“Notwithstanding the advice given by senior finance ministry officials before the issue of the licences, in favour of auction, the view taken by the then finance minister after the actual allocation had taken place to 'treat the matter as closed' raises serious questions. Was it a case of deliberate omission?” Sitharaman said.