Demanding that heads should roll in the government over corruption, BJP today said Home Minister P Chidambaram is as culpable as A Raja in the 2G Spectrum scam and alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was protecting "tainted ministers".
The party rejected the Prime Minister's contention that opposition was trying to destabilise the government, saying it
did not have the numbers to do so but the "collapse" was taking place due to its own contradictions.
At a press conference held to take on the UPA government after Singh's statement yesterday, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley made a scathing attack on the Prime Minister, alleging that the files clearly show he had "full knowledge" and was not in the dark about the 2-G Spectrum allocation scam.
Demanding the resignation of Chidambaram, the BJP leaders said "the last word has not been said on 2G" and the "2G saga is continuing".
"The March 25 note of the Finance Ministry accessed through RTI shows clearly para by para that the then Finance
Minister (P Chidambaram) not only had the knowledge but it had his approval as well," Swaraj said.
"So the wrongdoings committed by Raja have also been committed by Chidambaram," she added. She alleged that UPA was following a "unique coalition dharma" where when a coalition partner is guilty he is trapped while when a Congress leader is guilty he is saved.
"The Prime Minister should save his house instead of blaming the opposition... He should not heap all the blame for
this on the opposition and give a clean chit to his ministers," Swaraj said.
Swaraj maintained that Singh should keep his promise-made on May 22, 2011 when UPA-II government completed two years in office- of fighting graft and "allow heads to roll".
She charged that the CBI was singing the Prime Minister's tune and stating without investigations that hidambaram is not guilty.
Insisting that it was the CAG which had made the charges, she said BJP was only cornering the government on these issues as a responsible opposition.
She maintained that Congress has the habit of blaming the coalition partners for all problems. Even on Air India,
the blame was put on the then Aviation Minister Praful Patel when the decision to buy planes was taken by an EGOM headed by Chidambaram.
BJP alleged that the Prime Minister was not kept in the dark about the 2G allocation process and he was responsible
too. "The Prime Minister has said that on July 4, 2008, the then Finance Minister and Telecom Minister (A Raja) met him to discuss the 2G issue. He knew that in 2008 the spectrum was being sold at 2001 prices," Jaitley said, adding that being an economist Singh should have known this would incur losses.
He further alleged that Prime Minister has been on record in accepting that he knew about the dilution of shares
after the 2-G licenses were issued.
"If the Prime Minister has confidence in tainted ministers, the country is bound to lose confidence in the
Prime Minister," Jaitley said.
The BJP denied that it was trying to destabilise the government, saying it did not have the numbers.
"We do not have the numbers to destabilise the government. There is a crisis of leadership and a crisis of credibility in the government. We have not done 2G and we are not the beneficiaries of the cash-for-vote scam. For all these issues, we are not the reason," Jaitley said.
He charged that Singh's allegations against the opposition indicates his detachment from the ground realities.
"The nation is left bewildered with the Prime Minister living in denial," Jaitley said.
The BJP maintained that if polls are held it would be due to the government's "doing" and not opposition asking for it.
"We don't even need to destabilise. This government is collapsing under its contradictions and the liability of its own image," Jaitley said.
He argued that the Prime Minister should be seen as protecting the truth and not protecting his tainted ministers.
The opposition also mocked at PM's contention that there were no dissensions in the government.
"To say that there are no dissensions.. There can't be anything further from the truth," Jaitley said, and referred to the government handling of the Anna Hazare fast and the case of debugging of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office in which private detectives were hired to probe the case.
Swaraj said if mid-term polls are to be held, they will be held but it would not be due to the opposition.