New Delhi: Slamming the reports of appointment of Home Minister P Chidambaram as the head of Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar accused the UPA government of being unable in maintaining constitutional proprietary and parliamentary accountability.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “this is a "cruel joke" on the nation and goes against the Prime Minister's claim of maintaining a high level of integrity.”

He demanded that the Prime Minister should explain how this move to appoint Chidambaram goes in accordance with his claim.

He added, “As the 2G scam case is still sub judice, Chidambaram should not be appointed as the head of EGoM on telecom until his name is cleared in this case.”

"The Prime Minister had said in Parliament that the pricing of spectrum was decided after the meeting between then Telecom Minister A Raja and Chidambaram," Prasad said.

Chidambaram had taken this decision on spectrum pricing at 2001-rate despite his officials advising him against this. Prasad said that Raja has claimed that Chidambaram should also be questioned while some feel he should be made a co-accused.

"How can Chidambaram be even remotely considered for EGOM and he should be a co-accused with Raja," Prasad asserted. BJP’s objections are based on charges against Chidambaram that as then Union Finance Minister he was involved in deciding the controversial prices of the 2G frequencies leading to huge loss to the government’s exchequer.

Mentioning the irregularities in the Aircel-Maxis deal and transfer of shares in Swan Telecom, Ravi Shankar said that the government has no adherence to constitutional honesty and transparency in governance.

He further added that it has been confirmed that the government has been ineffective in dealing with corruption.

Earlier UPA’s candidate for presidential poll, Pranab Mukherjee, was heading the EGoM but following his resignation from the Union Council of Ministers, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was designated to head the group of ministers. Amidst allegation of his association with some of 2G case accused, Pawar stepped down from this post and the government appointed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as its head.    


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