Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Intensifying its attack over extradition of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation on "moral grounds" for shielding an "offender and corrupt man." The party also reacted strongly to Dr. Singh's statement outside Parliament where he said that law would be allowed to take its own course.

"The Prime Minister owes an explanation to the nation as to why his Government concealed the detention of Mr. Quattrocchi in Argentina for so many days. It is an insult to democracy and we will seek his resignation in the House,'' Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha V.K. Malhotra told reporters after the Parliamentary party meeting this morning. The National Democratic Alliance allies had endorsed the BJP stand on the issue.

Mr. Malhotra said it was "objectionable" that the Prime Minister had chosen to speak outside Parliament when the Opposition was demanding that he make a statement inside. "This tantamounts to a breach of privilege of the House."

"The statement made by Minister Mr. Suresh Pachauri in Parliament has only confirmed our stand that the Prime Minister, the Congress president and the CBI knew of the detention and `intentionally' concealed the facts and are instead trying to ascertain how the information was leaked."

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