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BJP-Cong slugfest over PC

On a day the BJP upped the ante on the 2G spectrum scam targeting home minister P Chidambaram, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his full confidence in his ministers, including Chidambaram. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 24, 2011 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent

On a day the BJP upped the ante on the 2G spectrum scam targeting home minister P Chidambaram, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his full confidence in his ministers, including Chidambaram.

After delivering his speech at the UN General Assembly, the PM made it clear there was no question of any of his ministers resigning. Undeterred by the opposition targeting him after he stood up in Chidambaram’s defence, Singh said: “I will continue to defend my ministers. All my ministers continue to enjoy my confidence.”

The PM’s response came on a day when former finance minister Yashwant Sinha said Chidambaram's place should be in jail.

“When Chidambaram is sent to jail, the PM will stop defending him too. Then he will only defend himself,” Sinha said. He said Raja had kept the PM informed at every step. “He wrote a letter to the Prime Minister whenever a new development took place”.

AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh was quick to condemn Sinha’s statement. “Chidambaram is a man of integrity, a man of competence and there is no question of any charges against him.”

“There is so much evidence that has come out against P Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum case that it would be laughable for CBI to say in court he is not guilty. Chidambaram's place is in the same cell in Tihar jail, where A Raja has been lodged,” Sinha said.

Singh, however, said the Sangh (RSS) had targeted Chidambaram because he sped up investigations in terror cases involving people from RSS.

“Look at your own backyard first before levelling allegations against others, particularly when it is against an able and competent minister like Chidambaram,” Singh added.

Singh also said the NDA government had changed the policy of allotment of telecom circles through competitive tendering, which was introduced by Narsimha Rao-led Congress government.

“The CAG has also reported on that decision and quantified the loss by change of policy. Should they also not go to Tihar jail by the same logic?” Singh said.

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said those involved in the scam should resign. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said people wonder these days about who will be the next leader of the ruling alliance to face arrest.