Special Correspondent

"Prime Minister, Cabinet should also own up for dissolution"

Buta Singh alone could not be made the fall guy Court verdict is a scathing indictment of Cabinet, Prime Minister

JAIPUR: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of Supreme Court's adverse comments on the Bihar Assembly dissolution last year.

Bihar Governor Buta Singh alone could not be made the fall guy as the Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet should also own up "the political, constitutional and moral responsibility of the act," BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said here on Tuesday.

"The Supreme Court verdict is a scathing indictment of not only the Governor but also of the Council of Ministers presided over by the Prime Minister," Mr. Jaitley said.

"The whole functioning of the Central Government has been rendered a constitutional suspect," Mr.Jaitley told a press conference at the party office here.

"The United Progressive Alliance Government led by Manmohan Singh is a moral history sheeter. Starting with the appointment of tainted Ministers in the Cabinet to the latest on the Quattrocchi front, the past 20 months of its rule had been replete with morally corrupt practices,'' he alleged.

Only recommendations

The Governor only sends his recommendations and it is for the Union Cabinet to verify the truth before acting on it, he said.

Mr. Jaitley listed five reasons for Dr. Singh to accept his responsibility on the decision to dissolve the Bihar Assembly. They are: The observation Dr. Singh made while addressing the media during his visit to Ranthambhor Park in Rajasthan that Bihar was facing the worst kind of horse trading; a Cabinet meeting at midnight to recommend to the President the dissolution of Bihar Assembly; the apex court observation that the Governor's report was accepted without verifying the facts; the fact that the Prime Minister misled the President on the issue and for the appointment of "politically pliable" Governors.

"A ruler who says he was misled does not deserve to be a ruler," Mr.Jaitley said. Asked about the likely role of Ms. Gandhi, he quipped: "It is basically the Government's responsibility but anyone watching UPA knows the role of Ms. Gandhi and the Left parties."