New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday asked Union Minister P Chidambaram to step down in the wake of media reports that he was an alleged beneficiary in the 2G spectrum scam during UPA-I, even as it charged him with failure as Home Minister in fighting the Naxal menace.
"There are media reports of A Raja telling corporate lobbyist Niira Radia that Chidambaram has received a lot of money. Still why is he continuing as Home Minister. After these revelations, he has lost the moral right to continue in office," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
According to a report in a publication, a tapped conversation between Raja and Radia puprortedly shows the former telling the corporate lobbyist that Chidambaram has "taken a lot of money and further expressed his annoyance on the functioning of Chidambaram (who was Finance Minister then) on minerals and gas matters."
It was on the Naxal issue that BJP was most vocal while demanding his resignation.
BJP also supported Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's remark that Chidambaram's election in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was "untenable and he should resign forthwith".
"Everbody knows that Chidambaram was losing in the elections. The result was challenged," Javadekar said, adding that this was another reason for him to quit as minister.
However, it was on the Naxal issue that BJP was most vocal while demanding his resignation.
"Due to his failure in the fight against Naxalism, he has no right to continue in office.... A coordinated approach between the Centre and the states in fighting Naxalism is needed," Javadekar said.
This is a marked shift in the BJP stand as earlier it was critical of UPA-II government's stand on Naxalism and maintained that Chidambaram should continue.