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Govt hiding truth on PC's 'favours' to ex-client: BJP

The BJP today accused the govt of hiding the truth by maintaining silence on home minister P Chidambaram's alleged favours to an ex-client and asked it to come clean on the matter if it wanted Parliament to run. PM satisfied with Chidambaram's explanation

delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2011 21:44 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday accused the government of hiding the truth by maintaining silence on home minister P Chidambaram's alleged favours to an ex-client and asked it to come clean on the matter if it wanted Parliament to run.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the government should place before Parliament all facts related to the case involving a former client of Chidambaram.

Home ministry reportedly directed Delhi police to withdraw the FIRs against the hotelier whom Chidambaram represented as a lawyer.

BJP has been demanding that Chidambaram should be sacked for misusing his office.

"Let them (government) place the files on table of Parliament. Government could have placed the files. I am afraid, the Parliament is not going to be a mute museum. The government owes an explanation," Jaitley told Karan Thapar in an interview on to Devil's Advocate on CNN-IBN.

He insisted that the opposition wants Parliament to function but in this case the responsibility of running the House lay with the government.

"If the government is not giving an explanation in Parliament then I have a lurking suspicion that the government does not have an explanation," Jaitley said.

The eminent lawyer alleged that the "full facts" of the case have not come out and Chidambaram should speak up.

"There seems to be something much more than what meets the eye. From the documents which are circulating a huge amount of suspicion is being created. Why was the Home Ministry taking so much interest in asking the Delhi police to report the state of the FIR to the ministry," Jaitley said.

Jaitley wondered why matters relating to an FIR and its withdrawal should reach the Home Minister.

He denied that the Opposition wanted to disrupt Parliament and not discuss issues.

"It is not a fair accusation. Ordinarily, Parliament must always function. At times, you disrupt or disturb when a discussion is not forthcoming or when you are not being allowed to raise an issue or when the government response is not forthcoming. Then only as a rare exception it should be done," Jaitley said.

He, however, admitted that it is happening a bit too frequently and maintained it should not. He held the lack of response from the government on issues as the reason.

The BJP leader denied the charge that his party is gunning for Chidambaram after the government started pursuing cases like the blasts at Malegaon, Mecca masjid and Samjhauta Express in which right-wing terror groups are allegedly involved.

"There is absolutley no basis in those allegations," he said, adding that investigations were on into these cases even when BJP was all-praise for Chidambaram for his action against Maoists.

"I defended Chidambaram then even when his party was not standing by him (on action against Maoists). Because we agreed with him. Though he somewhat diluted his stand later...

Even then these investigations were going on," Jaitley said.

He insisted that there is no connection between BJP attacks on Chidambaram and the right-wing terror cases.

"If he comes out strongly against terror, if he takes a correct position on Kashmir there is no reason why we will not support the Government of India and Home Ministry stand," he said.

Jaitley said the government's silence on these issues strengthens the BJP stand and hoped it comes out with an explanation on the issues raised by the Opposition.

Justifying the BJP stand against Chidambaram on the 2G spectrum case, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said, "In this case, there is a lot of explanation that the government and the then Finance Minister have to give."

He said the opposition could not be a mute spectator when it saw CBI informing the court that there is no case against Chidambaram and it would not investigate the matter and the government was not making a statement in Parliament on this.

"The boycott of the Home Minister and Parliament functioning can co-exist. It is only when he has to speak that we raise an objection," Jaitley said.

The senior lawyer claimed that while the former Telecom Minister A Raja has been charged for a policy which caused huge loss to the exchequer and the trial judge subsequently held a prima facie charge against him on that very policy, government said Chidambaram is not guilty.

"The Cabinet had authorised two ministers to decide this policy. The second minister (Chidambaram) also has something to explain. Or is it that he has nothing to explain in this matter?" Jaitley said.

BJP maintained that in a January 15, 2008 note, Chidambaram had noted that the best methodology for allocation of spectrum is auction but in this case, spectrum having already been alloted, the matter may be closed.

"A minister who belonged to the ally has been imprisoned while one belonging to the government has not even explained it.

First Published: Dec 18, 2011 18:38 IST