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BJP uses Marans resignation to target Chidambaram

New Delhi: Terming as "long overdue" the resignation of Textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran, BJP on Thursday demanded that Home Minister P Chidambaram should also quit on the 2G issue alleging the scam took place as the Finance Ministry then headed by him changed its stand on spectrum allocation.

"P Chidambaram should resign. We have already demanded this as the 2G spectrum scam could not have occurred had the Finance Ministry (then headed by him) not changed its stand on the issue of auctioning radiowaves," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said today.

Commenting on the resignation of Maran from the Union Cabinet, Javadekar said he should have resigned long back.

"Why does the Prime Minister delay the removal of corrupt members of his team. Initially, efforts are made to defend them. When all routes are exhausted, action is taken," he said.

Questioning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Javadekar said, "Such delays put a question mark on the PM`s capability to act in time."

Referring to the 2G spectrum allocation scam, he said initially Chidambaram as Finance Minister had supported auctioning spectrum and had opposed selling it at rates of 2001. "It was good. He supported auction which was a right stand," he said.

Maran, the Telecom Minister between 2004-07 resigned today after CBI named him in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

"On January 11, 2008, spectrum was allocated on first-come-first-serve basis and on January 15, he (Chidambaram) had a change of heart and gave his fate accompli approval to it saying as the allocation has been made, the criterion of auction could be applied in next allotment," Javadekar recalled quoting from the PAC`s draft report on 2G scam.

He said Chidambaram has "a lot to explain" on the issue as he "practically gave sanction to the first-come-first-serve policy…there are no grounds for Chidambaram to continue."

Meanwhile, a BJP delegation met Finance Pranab Mukherjee to demand immediate steps to protect small investors "in the face of large number of so-called plot and land sharing companies duping them to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore."

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