BJP says it has right to seek accountability of PM

New Delhi: BJP on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his criticism of the party, saying it is its right to seek his political, Constitutional and moral accountability.

"The right to ask questions and seek political, Constitutional and moral accountability of the Prime Minister is indeed the constitutional and parliamentary obligation of the Opposition. And Mr Prime Minister this is not `tu-tu main main," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

In his press interaction while returning from the NAM Summit, Singh had said he does not want to get into a slanging match- "tu tu main main"- with the Opposition as he has to keep the dignity of the office he holds. He added that due to this he prefers to maintain silence.

BJP, which has been stalling Parliament demanding Singh`s resignation in the coal block allocation issue, reacted sharply to these comments.

"If the people have given you the mandate to govern they have also made the Opposition the custodian of their interest and we shall continue to safeguard that whether you call it `tu-tu main main` or seek solace in your silence by reciting an Urdu couplet," Prasad said.

The main Opposition demanded that Singh clarify why some of the "biggest scams since Independence" like the financial irregularities in Commonwealth Games projects, 2G spectrum allocation, Adarsh Housing Society scam, land scam in the airport privatisation and the coal block scam have happened with "alarming regularity" during his Prime Ministership.

"The Prime Minister always maintains a conspicuous silence and colossal indifference. It is now evident that union ministers were lobbying for their kith and kin and the Prime Minister as the Coal Minister was facilitating that," Prasad alleged.

He was referring to the controversy over then Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai writing a letter to Singh in 2008 for allocation of two coal blocks to SKS Ispat and Power Limited in which his brother Sudhir Kant Sahai was a director. The PMO had taken up the request by writing to the Coal Secretary to take "action as appropriate".

"Why should there be double standards if A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran were forced to resign because of CBI inquiry? How can Dr Manmohan Singh remain Prime Minister when CBI is investigating and finding irregularities even in the preliminary probe," Prasad said.

He reiterated his party`s demand for cancellation of all the 142 coal blocks alloted during the UPA regime and a fair, time-bound probe.