The Congress demanded on Tuesday that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should resign over alleged irregularities in DDCA as BJP leader L.K. Advani had done in the wake of hawala allegations.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also sought to know if the Narendra Modi government was prepared to bring sports bodies under the Right to Information Act.
Addressing a press conference here along with Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma and party leader Randeep Surjewala, he, referring to NJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad’s remarks in the Lok Sabha on Monday differing with Jaitley on the findings of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), said that other members of BJP present in the house including union ministers did not differ with him.
“If we make an allegation, all BJP members get up. Yesterday Kirti Azad was talking about CBI inquiry in DDCA and no BJP member said it was wrong,” the Congress leader said, asking if a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry had been ordered into allegations of corruption and what stage it was in.
Noting that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had always insisted on resignation of Congress leaders facing any controversy, he said there cannot be double standards.
Mentioning Modi’s remarks at the BJP parliamentary party meet, he said the prime minister had talked of Jaitley coming out clean in the alleged DDCA irregularities as Advani had done in the hawala case.
“Advani had resigned. He also did not contest the 1998 Lok Sabha election. Will the PM give the same advice (to the finance minister). Is it fair for a minister to continue when an inquiry is being conducted,” he asked.
“For his dignity, honour and public confidence, he (Jaitley) should stay out. The same way that AAdvani did,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Sharma said his party wanted a time-bound, court-monitored probe.
He said the allegations against Jaitley had not been levelled by Congress and “the (DDCA) corruption had been in public domain for years.”
He said the prime minister should make it clear if demand for probe had been accepted.
Surjewala said that Jaitley had selectively quoted from SFIO report and added that the agency does not probe individuals but corporate fraud.
“Why does he not make the report public,” he asked.
Answering a query, Surjewala said Congress had made efforts to bring sports bodies under RTI in 2011 and alleged that Jaitley had not been in favour of such a move.
“What is Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi’s view today on bringing sports bodies in RTI,” he asked, adding his party will support such a step taken by the government.