Press Statement by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, MP, Rajya Sabha and National General Secretary, BJP

The Prime Minister must resign 

The tenure of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has witnessed scams galore. One doubts whether the ‘honest’ Prime Minister would prefer to be remembered because of them. The allocation of 2G spectrum scam, Commonwealth Games 2010 scam, Coal Block Allocation Scam, Cash for Vote scam, VVIP helicopter Scandal, Pulses Import Scam,

Tatra Truck deal scam, Loan Waiver Scandal– the UPA’s has a dirty slate. The Railgate scam and modifying CBI’s status report on Coalgate scam are two recent appendages. They claimed the scalp of two of his cabinet colleagues viz. Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwini Kumar. Dr. Manmohan Singh had admitted to journalists on May 22, 2011 (on the second anniversary of the UPA government) that his government was perceived as the most corrupt. Yet, his interest in heading such a government has not suffered a wee bit, despite the mounting burden of corruption.

But the biggest scam under the UPA-I & II is the large-scale arbitrary allocation of Coal Blocks to undeserving parties. These were allocated as captive mines for augmenting power generation. But there was hardly any addition in power generation capacity on ground. Most parties had no connection with power sector, and their projects were non-starters. The CAG in its Performance Audit report has quantified that financial gain of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore was extended to 148 private parties.  One cabinet minister Subodh Kant Sahay had to resign after it was found he had written a recommendation letter to PM for allocating coal block to his close relative. The CBI is currently investigating the matter under the monitoring of the Supreme Court.

The BJP has consistently demanded Dr. Manmohan Singh’s resignation since the CAG report was released on August 17, 2012. He was the Coal Minister between May 22, 2004 and January 28, 2006 and again November 30, 2006 and May 28, 2009. It was during this period that bulk of arbitrary allocations took place. Despite the decision to switch over to competitive bidding the Ministry of Coal did not implement it for five years. They kept the old screening committee allocation route functional. But even then rules were dispensed with and there was no proper evaluation.

The Prime Minister must resign by acknowledging his responsibility. He was the final authority for taking decision. It is not just a question of political morality. The CBI, which is investigating the case, is directly under the Prime Minister. The BJP has been affirming that there could not be a fair probe under him.

The Party’s concerns have been vindicated by the Supreme Court which recently observed that ‘the heart of the CBI status report has been changed’ and ‘the CBI is caged parrot’. If the CBI status report was shared with a Jt. Secretary (PMO), who had no business to see it, did that happen without the knowledge of the Prime Minister?
In the 2G Spectrum Allocation case he had tried to retain Telecom Minister A Raja until the last. Raja is on record for saying that whatever he did was in consultation with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister had offered to appear before the Public Accounts Committee that was examining the CAG report of 2G allocation.

He knew quite well that the PAC had no powers to summon anybody, least of all the Prime Minister. But he made no such offers to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee. The JPC had the power to summon him and all Opposition members in that panel wanted to exercise that option. But action was frustrated by the Chairman of the JPC, Shri P C Chacko, a Congress MP.

The Chairman also did not think it fit to call A Raja, who is at the centre of the controversy. Raja has made a written submission before the JPC, and is willing to appear before it. But Shri P C Chacko is reluctant to allow him. The JPC has thus split. Could there be a greater farce? This government not only indulges in and abets corruption but works overtime to whitewash them.

Today, an ‘honest’ Prime Minister is more than happy to lead a ‘corrupt’ government. It actually strengthens people’s conviction that he is a part of it. Thus the BJP demands the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Coal Minister should resign.
Also, the Congress President-cum-UPA Chairperson cannot be absolved of guilt.

A national spokesperson of the Congress Party recently stated that the Prime Minister and Congress President Madam Sonia Gandhi enjoy best of working relationship. The BJP is skeptic on that assertion. But if it were true then connivance and complicity seem to be equal on part of both.  Madam Sonia Gandhi had stated at 125th AICC meeting that corruption in the party would not be tolerated. But Congress seems to be acting against corruption only when reprimanded by the Supreme Court or pressurized by the BJP.  Even in the case of two ministers Mr. Ashwini Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal they had decided to brazen it out.

To protest against Congress’ corruption and then brazening it out the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to conduct a ‘Jail Bharo Andoloan’ from May 27 to June 2. Lakhs of BJP workers will peacefully court arrest and seek jail against the government’s complicity to corruption.

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