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BJP-Cong slugfest over Pranab's letter to PM

delhi Updated: Sep 22, 2011 12:48 IST
finance minister

The surfacing of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 2G spectrum allocation has led to a political slugfest with BJP demanding home minister P Chidambaram's resignation and Congress snubbing it for "jumping to conclusions".

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy reiterated the party's demand that the CBI must include P Chidambaram's role in the 2G scam probe.

He said that A Raja could not have done it all by himself.

Firmly backing the home minister, Congress leader and union minister Salman Khurshid said that there was no wrong doing by P Chidambaram.

The Telecom Ministry could have gone in for auction of 2G spectrum licenses had the then finance minister P Chidambaram insisted on this, according to a finance ministry document submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The BJP charged that Mukherjee's letter to the Prime Minister in the case shows the "complicity" of Chidambaram and demanded his resignation. The party also alleged that not only UPA allies but also the Congress were involved in it.

"Ultimately, the cat is out of the bag. It was very clear from day one that Chidambaram agreed to A Raja's formula for 2-G spectrum allocation. If he had stuck to the Finance Ministry officials position that spectrum should not be allocated in 2008 at 2001 prices the scam would not have taken place," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He insisted that today's revelations- through an RTI reply- have exposed Chidambaram's complicity in the 2-G spectrum scam as Finance Minister in UPA-I government.

Javdekar demanded that in the wake of this expose, Chidambaram should step down from his post.

Lashing out at BJP, Congress accused it of "jumping to conclusions" on the 2G issue with its demand for Chidambaram's resignation.

"BJP should stop being excited about everything. BJP is jumping to conclusions. Let us wait for a while if there is any such report. I have not seen the report," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said.

CPI national secretary D Raja said," Chidambaram's position, morally speaking, is increasingly becoming untenable."

"His role as the then finance minister needs to be examined and questioned," he said. (With PTI inputs)

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