`Come clean on HM`s alleged favours to ex-client`

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

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2011, 19:57 PM IST

New Delhi: 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 said in
a TV interview.

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.

PTI