BJP punches holes in PM’s self-defence

via PNS | New Delhi published on February 17, 2011

Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh
’s defence of his “compromises” for the sake of
alliance has brought him under sharp attack from the BJP.

Seeking to know whether following the coalition dharma
meant supporting the corrupt, the party accused Singh of attempting to
cover up the spectrum scam. It also raked up the CWG and Adarsh Society
scandals to take the wind out of his “coalition dharma” excuse.

“Coalition
is related only to 2G. What is the relation between coalition and the
case of Isro (S-band allocation), Commonwealth Games and Adarsh cases?”
BJP president Nitin Gadkari asked the Prime Minister. He was addressing
a Press conference soon after the PM concluded interacting with TV
channel editors.

“For the first time, PM has said all
decisions taken by A Raja had the support of the Finance Minister. What
support is there of the UPA and the Congress in this? This means
everybody is responsible,” Gadkari added.

Leader of the
Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley also said the PM could not shirk
his responsibility as head of the Government. “The PM is just trying to
be escapist in talking about coalition politics. The entire Government
under him is in question,” he told news channels.

With Singh
saying he was ready to appear before the JPC, Gadkari sought to know
who in the ruling alliance was then opposing the move to set up the
panel. “If he is ready, who is opposing (setting up of a JPC)? It is
for him (PM) to answer. Also, why did you not agree to it (JPC)
earlier? Had you done it earlier, this situation would not have
arisen,” Gadkari said.

The main Opposition party stopped short
of seeking Singh’s resignation but asked him, “as captain of his team”,
to own up responsibility for his Government’s bad performance.

“As
head of the Group of Ministers, it was the Prime Minister’s
responsibility to check this (spectrum scam loot). Was just writing a
letter
once (to Raja) his solution? This is his failure,” Gadkari said
and appreciated Singh’s candid admission of his “failures”. He added,
“He has accepted with an open heart that he is helpless, not able to
take decisions, there is pressure of coalition partners, and (he is)
not able to stop this corruption. This is a very honest confession from
him. I appreciate it.”

The BJP also said the comparison of 2G
spectrum prices with subsidy for fertilisers, gas, oil and foodgrain
was “unfair” and maintained that the spectrum allocation was “not a
subsidy but a way of making money”.

The BJP chief termed as
“laughable” the PM’s charge that the BJP was attacking the Government
for venting its anger at the action taken against a Gujarat Minister
(Amit Shah). “Are we responsible for what the CAG has found in 2G scam?
Are we behind the action taken by the Enforcement Directorate and CBI
in connection with the CWG scandal? Do we have a hand in what the media
is reporting (about scams)?” Gadkari shot back..

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