Firm on its demand for Manmohan’s resignation

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad on Sunday said it was firm on its three demands regarding coalgate — that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should resign, the government should cancel the allotted coal blocks and an impartial enquiry should be set up to look into the matter.

Speaking to journalists here, Mr. Prasad said Dr. Singh should explain why the ‘biggest scams since independence’ happened under his leadership.

“Why should the PM not resign when the CBI is finding irregularities even in the preliminary enquiry,” Mr. Prasad asked.

“You can't have one set of rules for allies and another set for Congress members. When two Ministers of the UPA ally DMK — Dayanidhi Maran and A. Raja — had to resign in the wake of the 2G scam, why don't the same rules apply to the PM and other Congress members in the coal block allocation scam?”

“The Parliament is not just a place for debates, it is also a place for accountability,” Mr. Prasad said when asked whether the BJP was ready to debate the issue.

Asked about the Naroda Patiya verdict, Mr. Prasad said it was fair and proved that Gujarat’s judiciary was independent.

“This should be a reply to the malicious campaign some people have been running nationally and internationally that there is no justice in Gujarat. But the verdict shows the judiciary in Gujarat has done justice,” he said, admitting the law had taken its course.

He, however, defended Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying it had been repeatedly proved he did not have any role in the 2002 riots.

“On the request of Teesta Setalvad and others, the Supreme Court reconstituted the Special Investigation Team six times and it repeatedly said Mr. Modi had no role,” Mr. Prasad said.