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Updated: July 10, 2011 18:05 IST

BJP wants Chidambaram, Sibal dropped

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File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. The BJP on Sunday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to remove the two from his Council of Ministers as they were facing allegations.
The Hindu File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. The BJP on Sunday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to remove the two from his Council of Ministers as they were facing allegations.

Ahead of the expected Cabinet reshuffle, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to drop from his Cabinet Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal as they were facing allegations of wrong-doing.

“Prime Minister has made a clean image for himself, but his Council of Ministers is corrupt. Prime Minister must clean his Cabinet, and as the leader of group of corrupt Ministers he must show the door to those corrupt Ministers,” BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said in New Delhi.

He said, “It is well known that the Rs. 1.76 lakh crore scam (2G spectrum allocation) had willingness of the then Finance Minister (Chidambaram). A. Raja is out of Cabinet, he was one part of it (allocation). Second part is Chidambaram who is still a Minister. Country would like Prime Minister to take a decision on him as well.”

Mr. Hussain said, “A private company which was facing a penalty of Rs. 650 crore at Rs. 50 crore per zone was reduced by Sibal to Rs. 5 crore per zone. Who gave Sibal the right to reduce Rs. 50 crore per zone to Rs. 5 crore,” he asked.

Mr. Sibal has been accused of overruling his officers to bring down a Rs. 650 crore penalty on Reliance Telecom to Rs. 5 crore for shutting down its rural telephony services.

Denying the allegations, Mr. Sibal in a statement on Friday, described them as malicious, motivated and defamatory.

He claimed that all relevant rules were followed in deciding the penalty amount.

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