India parliament uproar over Chidambaram

Indian home minister P Chidambaram at Parliament in Delhi on 22 November 2011 Mr Chidambaram denies any wrongdoing

India’s opposition MPs have called for the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram in connection with India’s biggest corruption scandal.

They accuse Mr Chidambaram of not doing anything to stop the telecoms scandal when he was finance minister. Mr Chidambaran denies any wrongdoing.

The scandal pertains to alleged mis-selling of telecoms licences.

Former telecoms minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi are among 14 people charged in the case.

They all deny any wrongdoing.

Opposition MP Subramanian Swamy has demanded that Mr Chidambaram should be summoned to the court and charged in the scandal.

Earlier, a court ordered Mr Swamy to explain next week why Mr Chidambaram should be summoned over the scandal.

The telecoms scandal, auditors say, cost the country about $40bn (£24.5bn).

On Thursday, slogan shouting opposition MPs forced the parliament to be adjourned twice over the issue.

Members of the National Democratic Alliance (Bharatiya Janata Party-led opposition alliance) created uproar seeking Mr Chidambaram’s resignation.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi later told reporters that Mr Chidambaram’s role should be investigated.

“In this situation, Mr Chidambaram should submit his resignation on his own, or else the prime minister should sack him,” he said.

Ahead of the winter session, the NDA had announced its decision to boycott Mr Chidambaram in parliament, alleging his involvement in the scandal.

Earlier in the day, the trial judge asked Mr Swamy to appear before the court on 17 December.

Mr Swamy says Mr Chidambaram as finance minister could have prevented Mr Raja from allocating spectrum on the “first-come-first-served” basis.

The telecoms scandal – often referred to as the 2G spectrum case – has badly damaged the reputation of the government, which has been hit by a series of corruption scandals.


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