'Opposition acting as agents of Maoists'



`Opposition acting as agents of Maoists` New Delhi: As the deadlock continued in Parliament, the Congress-BJP slanging match turned vicious outside with the ruling party on Thursday accusing the opposition of acting as "agents of Maoists".

Reacting sharply to the Congress' remarks, the BJP dubbed the ruling party members as "agents of Quattrocchi".

"There is a propaganda of the Maoists that Indian democracy does not reflect the aspirations of the people. The manner in which the opposition has disrupted Parliament and not allowed the supreme voice of the people to function it takes credence to the propaganda of Maoists. It almost seems as Opposition is behaving as their agents," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters outside Parliament.

The BJP retorted by raking up the Bofors case. "Quattrocchi's agents are accusing us of being Maoist agents. Quattrocchi's agents do not have the right to say so," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said, referring to Bofors case accused Ottavio Quattrocchi. The party has been accusing the government of protecting the Italian businessman.

While Tewari appealed to all opposition leaders to rise above party politics and allow democracy to function, Javdekar said, "the issue relates to democracy only. When 70 per cent of MPs are demanding JPC, why is the Congress running away from it.

"Running away from JPC is undemocratic, demanding JPC is democratic. Congress seems to have lost all logic that is why the party is doing this," the BJP leader said.

The deadlock over the opposition demand for Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into 2G spectrum issue continued for the 15th day.

"If the situation would be allowed to continue like this then this will not be good for democracy," the Congress spokesperson said.

Gen Singh said "We are aware that the modernisation process is subject to procedures of procurement. It takes at least two years; sometimes it may take more because somebody raises an issue about a company--that this company is doing this and that. It may be blacklisted. It happened in the case of Bofors.

"Procedurally we have problems because this is a democracy and nobody wants to take a chance."

To a question whether with all these problems India could be called a fighting force, he asserted, "100 percent. We are capable of achieving what we want."

He said that no force anywhere could have 100 percent modernisation. "Anywhere, ideally, 30 percent will be old legacy, 30-40 percent will be in the process of modernisation and another 30-40 percent will be totally modernised."

The Army Chief said in a big country like India, it will take time because of manufacturing and other issues.

"All that I can say is that whatever we have, whether it is old or otherwise, we are still capable of what we want to achieve," he emphasised.

PTI