Demanding the outright dismissal of Law Minister Aswani Kumar following the apex court’s remarks regarding the sharing of the CBI’s coalgate report, the Left parties on Tuesday wanted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to face Parliament and present an explanation. Terming the demand for resignation of the Prime Minister as “meaningless”, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the PM should face Parliament as he owed an answer to the country.
“On the garb of the PM’s resignation demand, you are allowing the government a free hand to do whatever they want. This is one kind of match fixing between the BJP and the Congress. We want the government to be accountable to Parliament,” Yechury said.
Alleging that the government is not making any moves to proper functioning of Parliament, Yechury said: “Parliament is not functioning. No debate is taking place and there is no accountability. A match-fixing is going on which is helping the government to avoid debate.”
CPI leader D Raja said the Supreme Court had passed really strong strictures against the government on the working of the CBI.
“The Prime Minister should own up responsibility and face Parliament. Now the continuation of the Law Minister has become untenable,” Raja said.
In a statement, the CPM politburo said: “The Prime Minister’s strong defence of the Law Minister also raises serious questions as to who else was aware of this gross interference in the process by the executive. The country needs to know the whole truth. The Prime Minister must come clean before the nation.”
As a collateral damage in the crisis over the CBI sharing with the government a status report on the coal mines allocation probe meant for the Supreme Court’s eyes alone and the court’s scathing observations, Additional Solicitor General Harin P Raval resigned on Tuesday.
In a terse statement, Raval said: “I am resigning as ASG in SC as ‘desired’. Please accept this with immediate effect and oblige. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the government.’’
According to sources, the ASG was asked by the government to put in his papers. On an earlier hearing, Raval had told the SC that the report had not been vetted by the “political executive’’.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s affidavit contradicted Raval’s claims, making his continuance as law officer of the government untenable. But before Raval resigned, he shot off an explosive letter to Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati, whom he accused of meddling in the CBI probe. The letter, moreover, was leaked to the media late on Monday night. In his letter, Ravel claimed that it was Vahanvati who was involved in the stand to be taken by the CBI and that he was being made a ‘scapegoat’.