BJP seeks resignation of A K Antony

New Delhi: BJP today demanded Defence Minister A K Antony`s resignation, upping the ante against Government over the controversy surrounding Army Chief`s allegation that he was offered bribe for clearance of Tatra truck contracts.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Prakash Javadekar (BJP) questioned whether the minister was patronising corruption as no action has been taken against anybody though a probe was ordered two years back. He rejected Antony`s contention that he did not act on the Army Chief`s information on bribe offer in absence of any written complaint and claimed that a written complaint did exist.

"If the probe in Tatra trucks is continuing from 2009 to 2011, if it is not completed in two years, then this government and this Defence Minister are trying to cover up corruption. If you are patronising corruption, you have no right to remain in power. The Defence Minister should resign," Javadekar said.

The BJP leader told the House that Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had written a letter to the Defence Minister two years back demanding a probe into the matter. Azad was not in the House. He said the defence ministry had even informed Azad that the probe was going on. He demanded that the contents of the findings should be made public.

Javadekar also demanded to know what action was taken into the matter and who were found guilty. Javadekar also suggested that Congress President Sonia Gandhi seemed to be aware of the allegation as the letter by Azad to Antony contained her reference. The BJP leader also said that the issue was raised by "Congress leader Hanumanthappa".

Earlier a media report had it that it was D Hanumanthappa, president of the Karnataka wing of All India Federation of SC/ST/Backward Class and Minority Employees Welfare Association, who had written to Gandhi in 2009 about the issue.

Hanumanthappa had reportedly alleged that VRS Natarajan (BEML CMD) placed an order worth Rs 6,000 crore for Tatra trucks from a UK agent and not from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in violation of defence procurement guidelines.