The formation of a Group of Ministers to draft a new law to insulate the CBI from external forces is a mockery as the UPA government which misused the nation’s premier investigation agency had no locus standi to take a call on its functional autonomy, BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said on Wednesday.

Accusing the UPA-II of failing on various fronts, particularly diplomatic and economic, and misusing the CBI, she said the Centre had brazenly disregarded public opinion. “Having misused the CBI for years, they have no right to draft a law for ensuring its functional autonomy. The Union government is deciding the content of the CBI’s report on Coalgate …such abuse of power is a criminal offence and contempt of court,” she said.

Ms. Lekhi said the appointment scam involving the former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal should not end with his resignation. The probe should reach its logical conclusion. “In the backdrop of innumerable scams and spiralling rise in the price of essential commodities, the BJP demands the resignation of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”

On the invitation extended by Pakistan’s Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif to Dr. Singh to attend the swearing-in ceremony, she said certain issues had to be sorted out before extending the hand of friendship. “No doubt we need a friendly relationship with neighbouring countries. But that doesn’t mean we should kneel before bullying. The terms of engagement should be made clear so that the visit is agenda-specific…it should not be a mere social get-together,” Ms. Lekhi said.

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