Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday dismissed government’s contention that P. Chidambaram as Finance Minister had no hand in the 2G scam and demanded that his role be properly investigated in the case.

“What the BJP is demanding is determining Chidambaram’s role as then Finance Minister in the spectrum scam,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Criticising government’s move to come out in strong defence of the Home Minister, Mr. Prasad said, “It is surprising that after ...Pranab Mukherjee, now it is the turn of Kapil Sibal to appease Chidambaram.”

He said, “What was the sudden need to defend Chidambaram by Kapil Sibal. Are these statements of appeasement designed to defend a colleague? ”

Mr. Prasad charged that Mr. Chidambaram “did not take appropriate steps to ensure auction of spectrum in an honest and transparent manner.”

While “over-ruling the objections of senior officers that there should be a transparent mechanism, he (Chidambaram) insisted that spectrum for 2G in 2007 be allocated at 2001 prices, in spite of a phenomenal rise in tele-density in the country,” he alleged.

The BJP leader insisted this was “confirmed” by the Finance Ministry’s note earlier, which was also whetted by the Prime Minister’s Office. He claimed the March 25 note of the Finance Ministry had “condemned” Mr. Chidambaram’s role as the then Finance Minister in spectrum pricing.

“We want to ask Sibal and his colleagues in the government whether it is true that senior officials of the Finance Ministry, one of whom is now the RBI Governor had said that spectrum pricing should be made through fair market mechanism keeping in mind the tele-density,” Mr. Prasad said.

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