Coal scam: BJP asks Manmohan to resign before submitting himself to CBI probe

We would like him to be questioned by the agency as the Coal Minister Manmohan Singh,BJP said.

Written by PTI | Srinagar/patna | Published: October 25, 2013 3:07 pm

Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign to uphold the sanctity of his office before submitting himself to questioning by CBI in the coal scam.

“It is fine that the Prime Minister has expressed his willingness to face a CBI probe in the Coal scam and said that he is not above law….but we would like him to be questioned by the agency not in his capacity as the PM,but as the Coal Minister Manmohan Singh who approved coal blocks allotment,” BJP national spokesperson Syed Shahanwaz Hussain told reporters in Patna.

“It will demean sanctity of the high constitutional post of the Prime Minister if the CBI questions him the coal scam and so he must tender his resignation on moral ground before submitting himself to probe in the said scam,” he said.

“The only option before him is to quit,come clean and appear before CBI… the question is that the country’s Prime Minister is under suspicion. If CBI questions the country’s Prime Minister,what signals would it send. That is why we have said the Prime Minister should resign and (then) appear before CBI,” BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.

Another BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy,who was also present at the press conference,said that the PM’s remarks should not be taken at face value.

In Patna,another BJP spokesperson,Shahnawaz Hussain,said,“If you (Singh) are not tainted,if you feel you can answer the questions,then answer as the Coal Minister and as Manmohan Singh… do not stick to the Prime Minister’s chair.”

The Prime Minister had earlier volunteered to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in another scam,but had later refused to do so citing certain rules which reportedly did not permit him to appear before the said panel,Rudy said.

Singh can not escape responsibility for the coal scam as he had signed the files for coal blocks allotment and must resign after the CBI probe reportedly bringing his role under scanner,Rudy added.

BJP said Manmohan Singh’s readiness to be questioned by CBI in the coal scam is “meaningless” as the agency comes under PMO’s purview.

“The investigations have reached the door of the Prime Minister. Now he is saying that he is ready to go to CBI… CBI is under the PMO. Its administrative control is with PMO. His joint secretary changed the status report of the CBI.

“So,saying that he is ready to go to CBI is meaningless. Perhaps he is thinking that he will get a clean chit from the agency in the same way Pawan Bansal,Mayawati and Mulayam Singh got,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javedkar told reporters in Srinagar.

He said the Prime Minister had even offered to come before the Public accounts committee (PAC) of the Parliament in the 2G case,but did not appear.

“He (PM) had even said that he was ready to come before Public Accounts Committee in the 2G scam,but why he did not go?” Javedkar questioned.

The BJP leader alleged that the country’s property worth Rs 50 lakh crores was given to 140 companies for “free”.

The Prime Minister had on Thursday said that he was not above the law and offered to face CBI in the coal scam probe.

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