Shimla: Coming down hard on the union home minister, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said that involvement of PC Chidambaram as finance minister in the 2G telecom scam was implicit and had been documented by the public accounts committee (PAC) which needed to be investigated by CBI.
Talking to reporters, the senior leader who has been a former finance as well as a external affairs minister said that when the matter came up before the MM Joshi headed PAC and it surfaced that a cabinet decision of 2002 mandating that spectrum pricing should be a joint decision of finance ministry and department of telecom was first diluted in 2006 and Chidambaram, the then minister in charge of finance, looked the other way when D Raja handed out 122 licenses.
Sinha was a member of the last PAC claimed that the issue of spectrum hoarding by some telecom companies was pointed out but the finance ministry in connivance with the telecom department neither priced it nor asked for surrender of the extra bandwidth that was not being utilized.
To get to the bottom of the whole matter, role of Chidambaram in the 2G scam needs to be investigated by CBI, said Sinha. It was ironic that the most honest rated PM was heading the most corrupt government in the country, he added.
Terming the UPA II government as one that is paralyzed with a lame duck prime minister heading it for the real seat of power rested with Sonia Gandhi, the congress president, Sinha said â€œManmohan Singh is working like a super cabinet secretary of India.â€
The country does not need a compromised PM but a strong PM for Manmohan Singh too often has been expressing helplessness citing compulsions of coalition politics, sometimes saying that he was kept in the dark and putting up other lame excuses, which only shows that a leader is not in command, he said.
Referring to congress leader Digvijay Singh sudden flare-up that Rahul Gandhi be made PM, the BJP leader said that firstly the position is not vacant and secondly such a demand by a section of congressmen has further weakened the position of the incumbent PM.
Commenting on the reluctance shown by Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) to provide enrichment and reprocessing technology to non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) members, Sinha said that it was not US or the NSG group that had betrayed India but it was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had misled the nation after he had staked his government on Indo-US nuclear deal about it.
Recalling the severe drought of 2002, he said that despite a 40 million ton shortfall in food production, food inflation was then contained at 3.3% but today with a surplus food storage of 65 million tons, food inflation was out of control forcing the RBI to step in and raise interest rate that was bound to slow down the countryâ€™s growth.
About resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue, Sinha was has been a former external affairs minister said that Prime Minister was backtracking from his assurance about not doing so until credible action was taken against perpetrators of Mumbai 26/11 terrorist strike.
At the recent foreign secretary level talks, India has conceded much ground with Pakistan not having shown any interest in containing cross border terrorism, he said.
In response to a question about the national BJP facing a leadership crisis, Sinha was quick to retort â€œevery party has a leadership crisis till a Prime Minister is appointed.â€