Why top four ministers not touched in reshuffle: BJP
"I fail to understand what is so sacrosanct about the ministers of Defence, Finance, External Affairs and Home that they have not been moved during the Cabinet reshuffle. All of them have failed to perform," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
Home Minister P Chidambaram came under direct attack of the opposition for his role in the 2G spectrum scam as Finance Minister during the UPA-I government.
"Chidambaram will have to answer a lot of questions on why he told the Prime Minister that the auction route should be adopted in future but there is no need to do so for the 2G spectrum allocation. The RBI Governor had been opposing the first-come-first-serve basis for several months before the contracts were given," Jaitley said.
Jaitley appeared soft on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on this particular issue, stating that he was going by the 2003 decision wherein it was laid down that the allocation policy would be decided by the Telecom and Finance Ministry.
BJP is likely to sharpen its attack on Chidambaram on the 2G scam in the coming days, including during the monsoon session of Parliament. A 7-member delegation will meet the CBI director tomorrow to demand that Chidambaram`s role be investigated thoroughly.
Jaitley also targeted Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, saying India had been one of the worst affected during the global recession and the government was responsible for it.
Jaitley insisted that prices of foodgrains, consumer items, real estate and vehicles were higher in India than in Europe and the US, and held the economic policies of the UPA government responsible for it.
"The investment climate in the country has suffered. The manufacturing and other sectors are in a bad shape," he said.
Wondering why Defence Minister A K Antony was not removed in the reshuffle, the senior BJP leader said he sat over all crucial defence deals for a long time and this was affecting the country`s military preparedness.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who was rumoured to be on his way out till a couple of weeks ago, also drew the ire of the opposition for non-performance.
Jaitley said some below average and light-weight diplomats had been given key foreign postings by the minister which had dented the image of the country abroad. These officers had failed to plead India`s case vis-a-vis Pakistan at the international level, he said.
Not satisfied with the changes in the Cabinet, BJP said it would attack the government on several issues during the Parliament session starting from August 1.
"All-round corruption in the government, failure to check price rise, farmers` issues including land acquisition and compensation, and the political situation in the region (Indian sub-continent) after the Abbotabad incident (when Osama bin Laden was killed) will be some of the issues raised by the opposition," Jaitley said.
The main opposition is hopeful of getting support from the Left parties on some of the crucial issues.
BJP is also gearing up for taking on the government on Lokpal Bill, Communal Violence Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill.