Opposition cries for PC's head

Dec 17, 2011, 07:52 IST | Surender Sharma

Parliament stalled for the second consecutive day; 'deeply hurt' Chidambaram rejects the allegations

The Parliament impasse continued for the second consecutive day yesterday with the Opposition parties demanding resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram as he reportedly acted in conflict of interest while withdrawing criminal cases against a Delhi hotelier.

Trouble ahead? A belligerent BJP has claimed that it won't let the
House function until and unless Chidambaram resigns. File Pic

The Opposition MPs stalled proceedings in both the Houses and forced adjournment till Monday. Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till noon and then for the day, after the Opposition continued to create a ruckus.

A news channel had reported that the Home Minister acted in conflict of interest while withdrawing criminal cases against the owner of the Metropolitan Hotel, New Delhi, S P Gupta.

As a practising lawyer, Chidambaram had allegedly represented Gupta's company, M/s Sunair Hotels Pvt Ltd, in a court case in 1999 and 2000.

Following the news report, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tajendra Khanna had revoked the Governor's earlier decision  not to press for prosecution of cases against the hotelier and a fresh probe was initiated.

The three FIRs relate to Gupta allegedly misusing the names of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and defrauding a firm, VLS Finance, of several crores of rupees.

In the afternoon, the Home Minister broke his silence over the issue and rejected charges of conflict of interest. The Home Minister described the charges as 'most ridiculous'. "The confidential draft was prepared by the director who didn't show it to anyone and sent it on his own. I was clear that no directions should be given.

Had I had a continuing interest, it would be conflict of interest. I have appeared in thousands of cases. I reject BJP's charge. I am deeply hurt," he said. Even as Parliament hopes to resume work on Monday, a belligerent BJP claimed they won't let the House function till Chidambaram resigns.

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "The Home Minister is clueless about what he is saying. There has been uproar in both the Houses and his culpability is established. He is trying to steer clear of trouble, but that is not going to happen, as he was a defendant of the case, at a given point of time."

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