PM must resign right now: BJP
Soon after the SC cancelled the 122 licences, the BJP launched a stinging attack on the government with party president Nitin Gadkari demanding PM Manmohan Singh’s resignation on moral grounds.
In Gujarat, CM Narendra Modi said the Centre had lost the right to stay in office. He charged that the Centre was trying to ‘save’ then finance minister P Chidambaram, who, the BJP claims, was equally responsible as then telecom minister A Raja of the DMK.
“The PM had said Chidambaram is his valued colleague and what he did is right. That decision of the government to allot 2G licences has been declared illegal and unconstitutional by the highest court of the country...It was not the decision of one person but the decision of the government,” Arun Jaitley said in Lucknow.
“The decision has smashed the PM’s theory that past practices were followed...The SC decision also smashes the theory of telecom minister Kapil Sibal that there was 'zero loss' in 2G allocation.” He added Chidambaram must now himself think his continuation in the cabinet "untenable".
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad sought to counter Kapil Sibal's logic that the UPA was just following the NDA government's "first-come-first-served" policy: "In 2001, there were only 4 million subscribers and in 2007-08 there were 350 million. The entire policy was manipulated and massive irregularity committed that cost heavy loss to the public revenue."
He added, in defence of the NDA, "No licence granted in the NDA regime has been cancelled."
Saying that Chidambaram could no longer continue in office, Prasad demanded that the PM, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi owed an explanation on the 2G indictment. He insisted that Chidambaram and the prime minister were in the loop when Raja made 2G allocations in 2008 at 2001 prices.
“Is it not a fact that Chidambaram wrote to PM on 15 January 2008 that spectrum already allocated be treated as a closed chapter and auction be adopted for future? All this is in public domain,” he added.