Coal adds fire to BJP 2G JPC ammo, House washout looms

FP

As the government reached out to the BJP for help in transacting business in Parliament that continued to remain stalled on Friday, the principal opposition party dug its heels in, insisting that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar must resign in the wake of the CBI director's affidavit to the Supreme Court.

"CBI has stated that its affidavit was filed after interference by the government and this proves that the law minister was misusing his office to save the Prime Minister in the coal scam. BJP is now fully firm on its demand for resignation of the PM. The CBI affidavit proves that the Prime Minister wanted to save himself from the CBI inquiry using the law ministry," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley asserted that following CBI director Ranjit Sinha's admission that the draft status report was shared with a PMO official, "the buck stops with the Prime Minister's Office".

"Government has really been caught with its pants down. This has gone well beyond the law minister now. The Prime Minister's Office must explain in what context was a PMO official shown the draft of the coal report. The affidavit has smashed claims of no interference by the government," Jaitley said.

"The affidavit gives some information and conceals the rest. Were the PMO officials there in the law minister's meeting or were they separately shown the report? Was there any communication between PMO and CBI on this status report?" Jaitley asked. He demanded that both the original and amended versions of the status report be made public.

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh suggested that "Dr Singh should himself think of liberating India from him (his rule). After a successful political career, he should now take rest somewhere in the evening of his life."

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