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Updated: June 18, 2011 04:21 IST

Chidambaram should be removed: Joshi

Neena Vyas
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Senior BJP leader and PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. Sudershan
Senior BJP leader and PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. Sudershan

Moving from 2G to KG, Public Accounts Committee Chairman and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday launched a full-spectrum attack on the UPA government and specifically on Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

He demanded that Mr. Chidambaram be removed from the Cabinet for his alleged role not only in the 2G spectrum allocation case but also in the “latest” scandal related to gas in which the CAG has alleged that undue favours were shown to Reliance Industries Limited in its Krishna Godavari basin gas operations.

Dr. Joshi cited the draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General to demand that the government hold an inquiry into the “unprecedented leak,” adding that the leak could not have been made from the CAG office, and that the Petroleum Ministry must be guilty. It was a “matter of privilege,” he said but did not clarify whether he intended to take it up as a privilege issue.

Since the issue was now in the “public domain,” the PAC would be free to take up the matter even before the CAG completed its report and submitted it to Parliament, he said. “Any member of the PAC can raise the issue at the next meeting,” which would be held later this month.

Dr. Joshi said the Ministry needed to tell the people how long it intended to take before responding to the CAG's draft report. “Why is this delay?”

He wondered why Mr. Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister at the time and a member of the Group of Ministers, had agreed to allow private gas companies to increase the price of gas to $4.20 per British thermal unit against the earlier ONGC selling price of $1.80. The decision to raise the price had benefited the private companies and led to a huge loss to the exchequer.

What was the “formula” for determining the price of petroleum products, he asked. Mr. Chidambaram had not protected government revenues, he had “bungled” the list of the most wanted men sent to Pakistan and “now there was also a question mark on his election to the Lok Sabha.” “I demand that he be removed from the Cabinet,” Dr. Joshi said.

Sources in the BJP suggest that Mr. Chidambaram is being targeted because of Hindutva terror cases against some RSS ‘pracharaks.' Some senior leaders have been trying to assuage RSS fears by telling them they are speaking to Mr. Chidambaram to “sort out the issue.” But the fear is that nothing concrete has happened to let the RSS completely off the hook on these cases.

Dr. Joshi did not spare Manmohan Singh either, saying “as always, the Prime Minister keeps all such issues at arm's length.” He dismissed questions on the propriety of his using the BJP office to address issues related to the PAC's work.

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As in the 2G spectrum case, Dr.Manmohan Singh and his senior colleages will find a sacrificial lamb or lambs in the scam related to the Krishna Godavari basin gas also so that the big fish will escape public attention with a good deal of help from an influential section of the media. Dr.Murali Manohar Joshi is evidently taking a preemptive step to block the escape route for the senior government leaders. Strange are the ways in which our democracy works!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 12:00 IST

Pricing was done by an empowered GoM.Why on earth should Chidambaram alone be removed? Perhaps being a competent minster is a sin in this country.Joshi has long been a poster boy of petty saffron politics. He had a prominent role in the Babri demolition,heck,he even tried to saffornise the IIT's! Joshi is trying to use the new 'refound' limelight as PAC chairman to get back in the reckoning for BJP leadership.For his handling of the 2G issue as PAC chairman, him and all other members of the PAC should have been thrown out of Parliament. Now,they will be back to their respective shenanigans again.

from:  Benjamin D.
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 11:51 IST

This shows desperation of BJP. They are very quiet about mining and landscam in Karnataka. At the same time they are attacking everybody about corruption. Let them clean their house first. KG gas is a remarkable achievement by RIL. Along with Mukesh, India has benefitted very much. No private playeer will come in future if these kind if controversies are created. Gas was price at $1.8 when crude was at $28. Now crude is at $100. Let them do the home work first.

from:  R C Jayakumar
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 11:35 IST

Your article,Chidambaram should be removed;Joshi was interesting and good to read.Recent days the Home minister is getting lot of complaints against him from the opposition parties was true.The recent allegations against Gas deal allowing Gas companies to increase the price was unacceptable. In this deal the affected person was the Commonman. UPA Govt claiming that they are for the commonman was completely defeated. Corruption and scams are only visible for the Commonman.When this scenario will change is the question mark.?

from:  K.Ragavan
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 09:54 IST

Propriety and fairplay have been the cornerstone of any good administration and characterize an administrator. But where are they in the case of Chidambaram? The PM's evasiveness,his silence and inactivity are well-known. The citizen receives a shock after shock on a today basis. I think the nation is heading for a mid-term election.

from:  G.Naryanaswamy
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 07:03 IST

Pranba Da, Says Parliament is Supreme and no one can dictate or question it. How Pranab Da defending the Parliament when Parliamentarians lack in their ethics and moral. 2G,CWG, Adarsh and mainly UPA is in the power with corrupt partners. Its become necessay and becomes very much essential to dictate or question the Govt when it fails its religious duty to serve the country. Better all Parliamentarians look their own faces and ask themselves how far they are honest in discharging their duties.

from:  V. Rao
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 06:59 IST

Mr M.M. Joshi, do you think the Congress cares for you or any body? No, Because even after Supreme Court Judge had slammed the PM to drop Mr Vilas Rao Deshmukh for stopping a police officer for filing FIR against a congress Legislator, still Deshmukh is enjoying under the Congress. How do you expect such a Prime minister or Govt cares for you?

from:  V.Rao
Posted on: Jun 18, 2011 at 06:41 IST
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