30 January, New Delhi
Stepping up attack against the Congress bigwigs especially former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the BJP today said both the leaders and principal opposition party Monday failed to answer questions on charge that the UPA regime had bailed out defaulting business tycoon Vijay Mallya.
However, the party maintained whether there should be a probe on the fresh episode that seeks to embarrass Congress top leadership including Dr Singh should be decided by the government only.
“Both (Dr Singh and P Chidambaram) addressed a press conference today but they failed to answer the questions. It all had turned into a damp squib affair,” BJP leader and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.
“It is more astonishing that Chidambaram says he was not the Finance Minister in 2009 when the loan was given ….he said this in presence of former Prime Minister Mamohan Singh,” she said adding the UPA must come clean to clarify as to who exactly decided to give loans to Mallya, when his business had made nosedive decline.
To a question whether there can be a probe into the entire affair and also that in 2009 Pranab Mukherjee was the Finance Minister, Ms Sitharaman said, “there is something called collective responsibility and thus the UPA is duty bound to answer the questions raised”.Sharing similar sentiment, another BJP leader and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said, “We are here on behalf of BJP and whether there should be a probe or not should be decided by the government alone”.
“It is ironical that while former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the recommendation note was just a piece of paper, he has not answered as to why the loans were given,” Goyal said.
Earlier in the day, BJP said one of the letter – as reported in a section of media – shows that Dr Singh expressed 2support for Mallya and orders were given by the PMO to ministries concerned. In his second letter, Mallya is alleged to have thanked Dr Singh for his support and asked for his kind indulgence again, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said.