Opposition to raise corruption issues in parliament

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NEW DELHI - Opposition parties have decided to raise the issue of corruption during parliament’s winter session beginning Tuesday and will try to pin down the government on controversies relating to Mumbai’s Adarsh housing society, the Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum allocation.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said that corruption will be the key issue during the session.

There is very clear silence on the part of the government on each of the scandals. There is the absence of any action. We will raise scandals and scams during UPA-II (United Progressive Alliance-II), including those related to the Adarsh housing society and the Commonwealth Games, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told IANS.

She said that a Comptroller and Auditor General of India report indicted the telecom ministry on the handling of 2G spectrum allocation.

The allegations have been further reinforced, she said, adding that the party had demanded the resignation of Telecom Minister A. Raja during the monsoon session of parliament.

Sitharaman said that the party will also raise the issue of foodgrains rotting in government warehouses.

She said the party will press for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the allegations of corruption and irregularities in the just concluded Games as the documents showed that the Prime Minister’s Office had sanctioned hiked outlays for works related to the event.

CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharia said that corruption will be the main issue during the session. He said the party will also raise the issue of price rise.

Acharia said the party had already demanded a JPC probe into the Games imbroglio in the last session and will again raise the issue aggressively.

He added that the party will also raise the issue of 2G spectrum allocation and the Adarsh housing society controversy.

He said CPI-M leaders will meet Monday to deliberate the issues to be raised during the winter session, while the Left parties will meet Tuesday.

With the opposition likely to join hands on the issue of corruption, the Congress is expected to expose fissures in their unity by raising the issue of alleged involvement of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) members in the 2007 Ajmer blast, which killed three people and injured 30

The party has already rebutted the opposition charge about maintaining silence on allegations of corruption surrounding the Games and has pointed to the investigations underway at various levels into the sporting event’s projects and the Adarsh housing scam.

The opposition is likely to press for his immediate resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan as his name figured in the controversy relating to the housing scam.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal expressed the government’s readiness for a discussion on any issue permitted by the rules and allowed by the chair.

Official sources said legislation that would be part of the official agenda include the women’s reservation bill and the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill.

They said the government will make efforts to mollify its ally and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee over the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill as it does not want to delay its introduction in parliament.

The bill provides for private developers acquiring 70 percent land for a proposed industrial project directly from farmers and land owners, while the remaining 30 percent could be acquired through the government.

The Educational Tribunals Bill, which ran into rough weather in the Rajya Sabha in the monsoon session following critical remarks of some Congress members alongside those of opposition, is likely to be brought for consideration again.

The women’s reservation bill, which has been passed by the Rajya Sabha, has not been brought to the Lok Sabha so far.

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