BJP slams PM for not removing Chidambaram, Sibal

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 21:01

New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh for not removing "tainted" ministers like P
Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal in the Cabinet reshuffle carried
out "without much thought and consideration".

"Normally a Cabinet reshuffle is undertaken to assess
performance of ministers and to correct imbalance amongst
states and alliance partners.... The reshuffle has been done
without much thought and consideration," Leader of the
Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter.
She said that instead of removing Sibal, whom the BJP had
accused of favouring Reliance Communications by reducing the
penalty from Rs 50 crore to Rs 5 crore, the Prime Minister has
asked him to continue with the dual charge of Telecom and HRD.

"HRD and Telecom are both very important departments.
After A Raja`s ouster, Telecom was given as additional charge
to the HRD minister temporarily. The Prime Minister has
undermined the importance of these two departments. The
temporary is now permanent," Swaraj said.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy described the reshuffle
as a "damp squib" and insisted that the Prime Minister has
failed to reassure the nation and dispel the "gloom shadowing
the UPA government".

"The Prime Minister`s much acclaimed and awaited reshuffle
has proven to be a damp squib. It is a futile exercise which
inspires none and in no way dispels the gloom shadowing the
embattled UPA government," Rudy told agency.
Singh today dropped five ministers and inducted 13 new
faces into his Council of Ministers. However, Home Minister P
Chidambaram and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, whose removal
BJP has been demanding, were left untouched.

"This is a wasted exercise which unreservedly attests that
we have a dysfunctional government that is destined to sink.
Apparently, the Prime Minister has failed to reassure the
nation once again," Rudy said.

He alleged that removal of Jairam Ramesh from the ministry
of Environment and Forests was a "victory of vested corporate
lobbies" and demanded an "honest clarification".

Another BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the
reshuffle showed that the Prime Minister was "helpless" and
his government has lost leadership and direction.

"The changes in the Cabinet show that the commitment to
fight is lacking. The Prime Minister had earlier said he was
bound by coalition compulsions. Today he appeared to be
bending before Sonia Gandhi," Hussain said.

He alleged that the UPA-II government was trying to
"cover-up" corruption and this has been proved now as the
Prime Minister has not shown the door to ministers involved in
corruption.

"Chidambaram, who was then the Finance Minister, is
equally responsible for the 2G spectrum scam. Sibal had
favoured Reliance Communications by reducing the penalty from
Rs 50 crore to Rs 5 crore. Two ministers were in the needle of
suspicion in the Adarsh Society scam. But all of them will
continue in the Cabinet and the PM has not been able to free
himself from the tainted ministers," Hussain said.

He said the fact that there was no minister from Bihar had
disappointed the nine crore people of the state.

Swaraj rued that representation of Madhya Pradesh has come
down in the Cabinet. "Madhya Pradesh has got a raw deal in
this reshuffle. Kanti Lal Bhuria and Arun Yadav both have been
dropped," Swaraj said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - 21:01

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