Advani hits out at PM over spectrum row

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NEW DELHI - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alleging that he was ignorant of the happenings in his cabinet.

Taking on the prime minister a day after parliament’s winter session ended amid acrimony, Advani also ruled out the possibility of the opposition-government clash over the spectrum row leading to early elections.

“Now, we know that the prime minister is not even aware of various things happening in his own cabinet,” Advani said at a press conference here.

He said the intercepted telephonic conversations of lobbyist Niira Radia exposed the link between corporate lobbyists, politicians and businessmen.

It raised concerns about who were involved in the government formation and distribution of portfolios.

Reacting to Manmohan Singh’s statement that the government will seek to prevent leakage of tapped telephonic conversations, the veteran BJP leader said: “Are these matters the prime minister should be worried about?”

Led by the BJP, the opposition paralysed parliament for three weeks demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the allocation of second generation airwaves to telecom companies in 2008 that allegedly caused massive losses to the exchequer.

Advani made it clear that no one wanted another Lok Sabha election now and that speculation about early election was the handiwork of the Congress.

“It is only scare-mongering. To scare the MPs and to break the opposition unity that has come about,” Advani said.

“The mid-term talks have come officially from ministers, whom I do not want to mention. They know a parliament was elected one-and-a-half years back. Why would an average MP elected for five years like to curtail his own tenure,” he asked.

Advani said the BJP-led National Democratic Allaince (NDA) had not brought a no-confidence motion against the government as non-NDA opposition members may not have supported it.

The winter session of parliament that ended Monday was washed out with barely any work conducted as the opposition stalled both houses daily over its demand for a JPC probe into the spectrum scam.

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