Govt, Oppn head for showdown in Parliament

The main opposition BJP announced that it would bring a motion on price rise and corruption in Parliament.

New Delhi: Government and Opposition were
headed for a showdown in Parliament with BJP on Monday attacking
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for making "unprovoked" comments
about `many skeletons in opposition cupboard` and alleging
that he "micro-managed" the 2G spectrum allocation.

Contending that the Prime Minister was "hands on" and
had "minute details" about the controversial spectrum
allocation, the main Opposition party demanded answers from
him as it prepared to seek a debate in Parliament on
corruption under rules that entail voting.

On the first day of the Monsoon Session today, Left
parties also decided to seek urgent debate tomorrow on price
rise by adjourning the Question Hour.

The government said it will reply to the charges in
Parliament whenever any issue is raked up but linked the
stepped up attack by BJP to the increasing pace of
investigations in some terror cases.
The BJP took strong objection to the Prime Minister`s
comment that there are `many skeletons in the Opposition
cupboard`, saying it was "totally ill-advised and unprovoked"
remark that had "vitiated" the atmosphere.

"I have to say with regret that the Prime Minister has
vitiated the atmosphere by his unnecessary comment... It was a
totally unprovoked and ill-advised comment. The PM`s
representatives were reaching out to us very positively.....
We had also said we want the House to function," Leader of the
Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

Jaitley made light of the PMO statement yesterday that
when the file noting on 2G spectrum case said the PM wanted to
be "kept at an arm`s length", he was being "hands-on".
"When Dayanidhi Maran informed the Prime Minister that
the entry fee would be decided by him and not by the GOM as a
part of their arrangement, was it an alert that a `hands-on`
PM meekly gave in to Maran`s request?" Jaitley said.

The opposition also wanted to know why the Prime
Minister did not realise after insisting on auction as the
only fair methodology, his Finance Minister (P Chidambaram)
"suddenly changed his stance on January 15, 2008 that let
there be an auction for the future and the past be condoned".

BJP also charged that the then Telecom Minister A Raja
wrote nine letters to the Prime Minister giving "minute
details" on 2G issue and in all 18 letters were exchanged
between them.

"Did it not strike the PM that spectrum was being sold
for a song, that there was nepotism in the selection of
licensees and the criteria of First-come-first-serve was not
being followed?" Jaitley said.

The advancement of the applications date from October
1, 2007, to September 25, 2007, also did not appear motivated
to the Prime Minister, he added.

"The Prime Minister has changed his stand several times
on 2G scandal. From an initial support to Raja, whom he
defended following a well-established policy, he then
pleaded ignorance about telecom matters and informed
Parliament that he had trusted the judgment of his ministers,"
Jaitley said.

Later, when Raja and Chidambaram came with an agreed
proposal, he "unsuspectingly" accepted the same.


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