Differences between Shourie and BJP come to the fore
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Last Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011, 23:51
New Delhi: The differences between senior leader Arun Shourie and his party were further exposed on Monday with the BJP openly contradicting his claims that it did not want to raise the 2-G Spectrum allocation issue in Parliament in 2009 despite his suggestions to do so.

"BJP has taken up the 2-G Spectrum allocation issue from day one. Arun Shourie has himself raised this issue in Parliament till he was a member (of the Rajya Sabha). He was expressing the BJP view (in Parliament)," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in reply to a question.

Shourie had stated in an interview last week that though he had requested Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley to raise the issue in Parliament, the two had not done so.

To counter Shourie's contention, BJP also released excerpts of the speech given by Jaitley in Rajya Sabha on July 23, 2009 in which he had raised the 2-G Spectrum issue.

"In 2007, an open licence regime was recommended. Pursuant to this, the Government of India invited applications for telecom licences setting October 1, 2007 as the deadline. Later, the Government created an artificial date viz September 25, 2007as the cut-off date. For some curious reasons, applications received between September 26, 2007 and October 1, 2007 were not considered," Jaitley had said in Parliament.

BJP sources also said Jaitley had referred to this issue in a press conference during the same monsoon session in 2007.

Shourie has now been asked by CBI, which is investigating the 2-G Spectrum allocation controversy, to appear before it on February 21. His deposition before the investigating agency may ruffle feathers within the BJP.

The timing of Shourie's deposition is also significant as the budget session of Parliament started from February 21.


First Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 23:51

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