Kolkata: The BJP still believed that the signature of UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee in his resignation letter as Indian Statistical Institute chairman was 'fabricated' and needed immediate investigation.

"We still believe that Shri Pranab Mukherjee's signature in his resignation letter as ISI chairman is fabricated which warrants immediate investigation," BJP's national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said on Friday.

"On June 20, Shri Pranab Mukherjee resigned as ISI chairman. We find his resignation was accepted the same day, even though the signature was not matching," he said.

"Why did Pawan Bansal and P Chidambaram seek two days time to reply when Presidential candidate P A Sangma raised the issue?" he questioned.

Stating that the issue raised was valid, Hussain said "The matter has to be investigated and the signature verified."

The BJP leader evaded a question when the BJP would move the court on the issue. Asked to comment if Union Home minister P Chidambaram's observation on law and order in West Bengal was a pressure tactics by the UPA government, Hussain said "Chidambaram is himself under pressure.

"He is a failure as Home minister. We don't give any importance to his comments even on the floor of Parliament." Hussain did not reply when asked if the BJP would seek Trinamool Congress support in the Presidential election, but said TMC would take its own decision.

BJP said Pranab Mukherjee could not have gone ahead on contentious issues like GAAR and retrospective taxation (like in the case of Vodafone) without consulting Singh and if he did what was the PM doing all along.

Sinha, who was full of sarcasm for Manmohan Singh, said he wished to congratulate the Prime Minister for "opening his mouth" as the country was looking forward to his views since he took over the Finance portfolio.

BJP also made light of the new expectations in some sections that with Singh at the helm of the Finance Ministry the economy will improve.

"Singh is likely to keep this portfolio till September. Though India's growth story is not yet over, three months is too short a time for anybody to turn around the economy," Sinha said.

The main opposition was also not impressed with Singh attributing some of the present economic problems on the erstwhile NDA government.

"The Prime Minister has said there were a lot of things the previous government did which we had to undo. No Prime Minister can look for consensus with the opposition if he starts with this premise.... They are not seeing the problem, how will they solve them? The Prime Minister is living in denial even today," Sinha said.

Quoting the PM, BJP sought to know if legislation is not the bottleneck to economic growth, then what is preventing the government from taking executive action.

"Singh is talking as if he is the chief consultant to the government of India," Sinha said, adding it was not open to the PM to tell the world how this or that should be done.

BJP also maintained the PM cannot maintain a high level of integrity and allow a sea of corruption to prevail around him.

"The PM has also admitted that there is lack of political consensus in government. He says there is an honest difference of opinion. So, if there is a consensus, we will work else we will wait," Sinha said.

He claimed the present economic scenario proves the charges BJP has been levelling against the government. "All our problems or most of them are domestic and not imported from abroad. You cannot blame small countries like Greece and Portugal. The petrol prices did not increase suddenly in 2011-12. PM has admitted there is a policy paralysis in UPA-II," Sinha said.

BJP sought to know why the government had not made progress on issues of reforms in mutual fund and the insurance sector, coal block allocation, infrastructure projects, inter-linking of rivers, building small airports and improving rural infrastructure.

The opposition party alleged the Prime Minister is engaging in bipartisanship by laying the blame for the present economic problems on the NDA government.

Sinha said the NDA government had taken steps to deal with the chronic balance of payments crisis, controlled inflation through structural changes, kept interest rates in check and made progress in infrastructure development.

BJP pledged all support to every sensible step the government takes to improve the economy and cited the example of Pensions Bill in which it had bailed out the government in the Parliament.

"This government acts first and thinks later. Hence, it has to take back its decisions. It should consult its allies," Sinha, who had earned the sobriquet of "Rollback Sinha" when he was FM, said.

(Agencies)

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