2G probe from 2001 welcome, but want JPC: BJP

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court widening the 2G spectrum allotment probe to 2001, but said it would continue to press for a JPC probe into the scam during parliament’s budget session early next year.

The Supreme Court yesterday extended the ambit of probe into the 2G spectrum controversy to decisions taken in 2001. We welcome it, BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia told reporters here.

Despite the Supreme Court directive, the opposition has been unrelenting in its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)

probe into the scam, stalling the winter session of parliament which began Nov 9 for the 20th successive day Thursday. There are just two more days to the session.

According to Ahluwalia, during the meeting of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with opposition parties Nov 22 on the demand for a JPC probe, the DMK representative had said that his party had no problems with this provided it examines the telecom ministry’s decisions from 1998.

We had agreed to the suggestion, Ahluwalia said.

He said the AIADMK representative said the probe should start from 1994 and his party had agreed to that demand too.

We demand that the entire inquiry be done by a JPC. There is no such provision that if the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) is looking into a case, then JPC cannot look into it, he said, adding that there were precedents when both CBI and JPC had probed a case.

Referring to recorded conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia relating to the 2G spectrum allocation, the BJP leader said that only a JPC can examine the tapes.

The 5,811 conversations that have been recorded by an investigating agency can be seen by no other committee except JPC, Ahluwalia maintained.

We will carry our struggle (for a JPC) to the streets and if the government does not agree, we will return in the budget session with the same demand, he said.

The budget session usually begins in the last week of February.

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