Prove Chidambaram for his role in 2G: BJP

New Delhi: BJP today dismissed government`s contention that P Chidambaram as Finance Minister had no hand in the 2G scam and demanded that his role be properly investigated in the case.

"What the BJP is demanding is determining Chidambaram`s role as then Finance Minister in the spectrum scam," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Criticising government`s move to come out in strong defence of the Home Minister, Prasad said, "It is surprising that after …Pranab Mukherjee, now it is the turn of Kapil Sibal to appease a sulking Chidambaram."

He said, "What was the sudden need to defend Chidambaram by Kapil Sibal. Are these statements of appeasement designed to defend a sulking colleague." Prasad charged that Chidambaram "did not take appropriate steps to ensure auction of spectrum in an honest and transparent manner."

While "over-ruling the objections of senior officers that there should be a transparent mechanism, he (Chidambaram) insisted that spectrum for 2G in 2007 be allocated at 2001 prices, inspite of a phenomenal rise in tele-density in the country," he alleged. The BJP leader insisted this was "confirmed" by the Finance Ministry`s note earlier, which was also whetted by the Prime Minister`s Office. He claimed the March 25 note of the Finance Ministry had "condemned" Chidambaram`s role as the then Finance Minister in spectrum pricing.

"We want to ask Sibal and his colleagues in the government whether it is true that senior officials of the Finance Ministry, one of whom is now the RBI Governor had said that spectrum pricing should be made through fair market mechanism keeping in mind the tele-density," Prasad said.

Earlier in the day, Sibal at a press conference attacked the BJP-led NDA of attempting to "foist" culpability on Chidambaram in the 2G scam, saying it was a desperate attempt to make Parliamentary democracy dysfunctional. He also rejected all allegations against Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister at the time of spectrum allocation, and alleged that elements in the NDA were trying to malign and defame him.