Ranchi: Senior BJP leader and PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi on Saturday charged the Centre with attacking constitutional institutions working in the interest of the people and said it was harmful for the nation.

"It is the duty and responsibility of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Public Accounts Committee to protect public money and its proper utilization.

Unfortunately, Congress is attacking both the institutions. This is harmful for the nation," Joshi told a news conference here.

Accusing the Congress leadership of trying to suppress investigations into the series of scams that surfaced during the UPA government, Joshi said that he was surprised at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assertion that the CAG had never convened a press conference in the past.

"CAG has always issued press statements on its reports after placing the same in Parliament. Even a High Court has said there is no wrong in CAG going to the press. But the importance of this CAG press conference was its disclosure of an estimated Rs 1.76 lakh crore scam.

"As CAG had termed it as an estimated amount, Telecom Minister, Kapil Sibal should have investigated the matter to find out the exact amount, but he claimed there had been no loss," he said.

Disagreeing with the Prime Minister's assertion that former Telecom Minister A Raja had "misled" him in the 2G-spectrum issue, Joshi claimed that it was his advisers who were giving him wrong information.

"I am also surprised to note the Prime Minister's attack on the media saying the media has become an accuser, prosecutor and judge. If issues are right, naturally there will be a reaction," he said.

He also asked as to how the report on the Krishna-Godavari petroleum gas project was leaked in the media before it was placed in Parliament.

"If the report is true then it is a serious issue, and if wrong then why the government has not said it," he said referring to a media report on oil and gas exploration project on the Krishna-Godavari basin.

Joshi demands Chidambaram removal

Murli Manohar Joshi also demanded that Home Minister P Chidambaram be removed from his ministry claiming he faced varying allegations.

"Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa raised an election scam against him. He was the Finance Minister during 2-G Spectrum scam and he is Home Minister when the controversial wrong list (of terrorists) was submitted to Pakistan. He should not be in the Cabinet following all these serious charges against him," Joshi said.

Chidambaram recently reacted to Jayalalithaa questioning his election from Shivaganga Lok Sabha seat, saying the matter was pending before the court and that such statements amounted to gross contempt of court.

(Agencies)