Maintaining that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s readiness to face the CBI was “meaningless”, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday reiterated the demand that Dr. Singh step down from office to enable an impartial probe into the coal block allotments case.

“The only option before him is to quit, come clean and appear before the CBI ... The question is that the country’s Prime Minister is under suspicion. If CBI questions the country’s Prime Minister, what signals would it send? That is why we have said the Prime Minister should resign and [then] appear before the CBI,” said senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

Charging Dr. Singh with “hiding things”, Mr. Sinha said the Prime Minister had refused to appear before the JPC on 2G spectrum but offered to appear before the Public Accounts Committee, which had no authority to summon him.

In Srinagar, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said: “The investigation has reached the door of the Prime Minister. Now he is saying he is ready to go to CBI. [But] the CBI is under … the administrative control [of] the PMO. His joint secretary changed the CBI status report. So, saying that he is ready to go to CBI is meaningless. Perhaps, he is thinking that he will get a clean bill from the agency the same way that Pawan Bansal, Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav did.”

Mr. Sinha said the former Coal Secretary P.C. Parakh’s letter about the “coal mafia” also raised “serious issues”.

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