Chennai: Former telecom minister Arun Shourie on Saturday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be allowed to make a statement on coal blocks allocation controversy in the wake of CAG's findings, saying the Opposition gained nothing by stalling Parliament over the issue.
"...Prime Minister was the Minister-in-charge (handling Coal Ministry). He must be given the opportunity to explain the facts as he sees them," Shourie, who was a minister in the AB Vajpayee government, told reporters in Chennai on the sidelines of an event.
On BJP disrupting Parliament proceedings, Shourie said "As I understand it, the grievance of the Opposition is not the debate but that nothing happens after the debate."
The former telecom minister said that the PM must be allowed to make a statement as nothing could be gained by stalling Parliament.
"Therefore some politicians are let off and that is their grievance. But once government demonstrates action that will follow then there will be no problem. In the end opposition does not gain much by disrupting Parliament," he said.
Shourie, however, said while the Opposition takes a stand, it "finds a reason not to pursue" it after five days, recalling BJP's boycott of Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament demanding his resignation over the 2G scam.
"After a few days everything was forgotten and Chidambaram continued to speak in Parliament and they said nothing," he said. If the MPs felt 'outraged' they should be Gandhian and not compromise. Otherwise it seems "it is just for the moment."
He alleged the Centre had no intent to retrieve black money deposited by Indians in foreign tax havens.
On Chidambaram being re-assigned Finance Ministry, he said "No doubt country is suffering from his budgets; of the deficits which he pioneered, of the populist schemes which he included; of the off-budget items which he did not include in the budget and all of which had inflationary consequences."
"He is very likeable and intelligent person. I hope his subsequent budgets will be better than his past budgets," Shourie said.