If he does so, resignation is the only option for him, says BJP chief

Hours after senior BJP leader L.K. Advani asked how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could continue in office after sacking Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, party president Rajnath Singh appealed to Dr. Singh to introspect on and decide for himself on the tenability of his position.

“If the Prime Minister does an honest introspection, then resignation is the only option for him,” Mr. Singh said here at his first news conference after the BJP’s debacle in the Karnataka Assembly election.

Responding to questions why the party lost elections in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka despite “all-round failure” of the Congress, the BJP president merely said he was ‘convinced’ that the BJP-led NDA would win the 2014 general election to form the government at the Centre.

Charging the government with turning a deaf ear to all the voices raised in Parliament, Mr. Singh announced that his party would launch a countrywide agitation and campaign from May 27 to June 2 by staging ‘dharnas’ and giving calls for a ‘jail bharo andolan’ in protest against the UPA government’s frequent malfunctions, gross inaction and rampant corruption.

Asked how he intends to put the house in order in Karnataka and whether B.S. Yeddyurappa would return to the party fold, Mr. Singh was categorical that the BJP would never compromise on the issue of corruption.

On the sacking of two Ministers — Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal — the BJP chief said that had the Prime Minister acted against them without delay, the government could have easily saved the budget session.

Important legislation like the Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill were lined up for discussion and passage but the adamant UPA decided to waste the opportunity. “We were keen on passage of these bills with certain amendments.”

On Mr. Kumar’s episode, the BJP chief said the CBI was forced to share its status report on Coalgate with the Law Minister, the PMO and other officials even when the agency was directed by the Supreme Court to submit the report to it.

Quoting from the court’s observations on changes to “the heart of the report” which was linked to the time when the Prime Minister was himself holding the Coal Ministry, Mr. Rajnath Singh asked if Mr. Kumar had to go for influencing the CBI report, why the PMO should not be held accountable for the same.

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