Senior BJP leader LK Advani said on Monday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had put home minister P Chidambaram on par with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to thwart a probe against him (Chidambaram) in the 2G spectrum scam.
The former deputy prime minister was referring to Singh’s recent directive that either Mukherjee or Chidambaram would remain in New Delhi to take care of the day-to-day affairs of the government, when he was away on foreign tours next month.
In New Delhi, meanwhile, a special CBI court deferred till November 8 its hearing on Janata Party's president Subramanian Swamy’s plea to make Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G spectrum case.
On Day Two of the Orissa leg of his anti-corruption yatra Advani said: “In the absence of the prime minister, the finance minister is the no. 2 in the government. Now it has been demolished...I feel if a prime minister wants to appoint two cabinet ministers as deputy prime ministers he can do it. But he cannot name two ministers as number two.”
Advani also blamed the UPA regime of “subverting” the federal structure of the Constitution.
“It has let loose probe agencies that are supposed to be impartial on non-Congress state governments.”
Commenting on Orissa politics, Advani said the party's erstwhile ally BJD had ended their alliance in the state “without justification” and the relations between the state units of both parties were “tense”.
The BJP patriarch did not rule out the possibility of a BJP-BJD alliance in future. He, however, stayed mum on the alleged corruption in the BJD government in the state.