Opposition putting pressure on Congress
New Delhi: The slugfest between rivals Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party continues over the role played by the incumbent Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was expected to discuss the opposition demand for Chidambaram's resignation with the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi yesterday in the wake of a finance ministry note that said Chidambaram as the then finance minister could have prevented the scam by insisting on auction rather than allowing the spectrum's allocation at throwaway prices.
While Sonia had separate meetings with Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday while Singh was away to address the UN, Singh had a chance to interact with Chidambaram yesterday during the lunch he hosted for the former British prime minister Tony Blair where Chidambaram was amongst the invitees. However, it will be the first meeting between Singh and Sonia since the finance ministry note on the 2G spectrum allocation scam came to light recently.
Reacting to Singh's defence of Chidambaram in which he said he continued to enjoy his confidence as the finance minister in the past and now as the home minister, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley slammed Singh for his inaction. "This is a unique coalition policy that if a coalition partner is involved then take action, but if one of their own minister is involved then save the minister," Swaraj said.
Jaitley said that the Prime Minister has distanced himself from ground realities and was living in denial. "The Prime Minister says he has full confidence in Chidambaram and he will save his ministers. The Prime Minister instead of protecting tainted ministers should be seen protecting the truth," Jaitley said.
Maran probe ends
The CBI yesterday told the Supreme Court that the preliminary inquiry in respect of former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran in the 2G scam has been completed and a first information report (FIR) would be registered in a few days after a decision is taken by Friday.
The CBI told the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly that the conclusions drawn on the basis of the initial inquiry were being looked into by its officials.