It's a clear case of conflict of interest, the party says

The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken exception to the appointment of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram as the head of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on spectrum and allied issues. This exposed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s claim that he had maintained high standards of integrity in his conduct, it said.

In a statement, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said Dr. Singh had once again confirmed that constitutional propriety, parliamentary accountability and probity in governance were unimportant and irrelevant to him.

Mr. Prasad listed six ‘reasons’ which, according to him, disqualify Mr. Chidambaram from even being a member of the EGoM, leave alone presiding over it. It was very much in the public domain that 2G spectrum pricing was determined by the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, in consultation with the then Finance Minister, Mr. Chidambaram, which was subsequently accepted by the Prime Minister, a fact confirmed by him in Parliament.

Mr. Prasad said a case pleading to make Mr. Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G trial was pending and several people named in the case, including Mr. Raja, had been urging the court to summon Mr. Chidambaram.

He maintained that Mr. Chidambaram granted approval to companies like Swan and Unitech, which were on trial in the case, to sell their shares at a higher premium cost after they benefited from spectrum allocation at 2001 rates.

Mr. Prasad said that in the Maxis-Aircel deal, now being investigated by the CBI, “disturbing” questions were raised about the role of people close to Mr. Chidambaram’s family.

“In the light of above glaring facts, the appointment of Mr. Chidambaram not only gives a very wrong message but it is also a clear case of conflict of interest. This once again confirms that whenever cases of massive corruption came, Dr. Singh looked the other way instead of taking action,” he said.

In politics and governance, perception and propriety were very important and by appointing Mr. Chidambaram as the head of the EGoM on spectrum, the Prime Minister had arrogantly sought to convey that he was not much concerned about it, Mr. Prasad said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken exception to the appointment of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram as the head of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on spectrum and allied issues. This exposed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s claim that he had maintained high standard of integrity in his conduct, it said.

In a statement, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said Dr. Singh had once again confirmed that constitutional propriety, parliamentary accountability and probity in governance were unimportant and irrelevant to him.

Mr. Prasad listed six ‘reasons’ which, according to him, disqualify Mr. Chidambaram from even being a member of the EGoM, leave alone presiding over it. It was very much in public domain that 2G spectrum pricing was determined by the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, in consultation with the then Finance Minister, Mr. Chidambaram, which was subsequently accepted by the Prime Minister, a fact confirmed by him in Parliament.

Mr. Prasad said the case pleading to make Mr. Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G trial was pending and several people named in the case, including Mr. Raja, have been urging the court to summon Mr. Chidambaram. He maintained that Mr. Chidambaram had granted approval to companies like Swan and Unitech, which were on trial in the case, to sell their shares at a higher premium cost after they benefited from spectrum allocation at 2001 rates.

Mr. Prasad said that in the Maxis-Aircel deal, now being investigated by the CBI, “disturbing” questions have been raised about the role of people close to Mr. Chidambaram’s family.

“In the light of above glaring facts, the reported appointment of Mr. Chidambaram not only gives a very wrong message but it is also a clear case of conflict of interest. This once again confirms that whenever cases of massive corruption came, Dr. Singh looked the other way instead of taking action,” he said.

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