2G scam: CPI-M demands resignation of Chidambaram

CPI-M demanded the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram, saying there was "evidence" about his "direct role and involvement" in the 2G scam.

Updated: Sep 30, 2011, 19:02 PM IST

New Delhi: The CPI-M on Friday demanded the
resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram, saying there was
"mounting evidence" about his "direct role and involvement" in
the 2G spectrum allocation scandal.

"He (Chidambaram) has said the matter is closed. I am
afraid the matter is not closed... We are demanding his
resignation in light of the mounting evidence about his direct
role and involvement in the policy and implementation of
allocation of licenses of 2G spectrum," party General
Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here.
He said the Finance Ministry note was not the handiwork
of a single officer but "prepared in consultation with various
departments, including the Prime Minister`s Office, and
coordinated by the Cabinet Secretary".

Yesterday also, senior CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram
Yechury had said that the Cabinet will have to take
"collective responsibility" on the matter and cannot find
fault with only one or two persons.

The Finance Ministry note of March 25 had said that the
2G scam could have been avoided had the then Finance Minister
had insisted on auctioning of spectrum instead of giving it on
2001 prices.

"The fact is that this inter-ministerial note was the
result of a collective exercise which pin-pointed the role of
Chidambaram," he said.

Referring in a lighter vein to the clarificatory
statement made by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday,
Karat said he had "an onerous task of rescuing his cabinet
colleague. I sympathise with his plight...I think Mukherjee
has spoken the truth, which is good".

He said Chidambaram`s action as the then Finance Minister
showed he was "going along with the actions of A Raja. Has
this not been responsible for the massive loss to the state
exchequer? This is the main issue. It is very much alive and
he should step down from the Cabinet".
Karat said the note forwarded by the Finance Ministry to
the Prime Minister`s Office has clearly "delineated the role"
played by Chidambaram "in going along with the policy and the
implementation of it by then Telecom Minister A Raja".

"Despite the obfuscation by the government, the issue is
that Chidambaram had given the green signal for a policy which
led to a massive loss to the state exchequer. This is despite
his ministry earlier objecting to the first come ? first serve
policy and the entry fee being retained at the 2001 rate," the
top CPI-M leader said at the end of the two-day meeting of the
Politburo here.

He said the high level corruption which had engulfed the
UPA government since its inception in 2004 has been once again
highlighted.

"Apart from the unfolding 2G spectrum scandal, the CAG
reports on the KG basin contract and the Air India
mismanagement have reinforced the image of a totally corrupt
government in the eyes of the people," Karat said.

Taking the BJP to task for announcing the rath yatra by L
K Advani, he said, "One can`t help admire BJP`s total
hypocrisy on the stand of corruption during the NDA rule.
Corruption scandals had erupted then and these are snowballing
now in the UPA-II regime".

Referring to the scams relating to defence purchases and
sanctioning of petrol pumps and gas agencies during NDA rule,
he said the BJP was "accountable for presiding over one of the
worst corruption episodes in illegal mining in Karnataka.

"In this context, the rath yatra of Advani will have no
credibility among the people."

PTI