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SC asks for affidavit from PM

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Manmohan Singh

The Supreme Court today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to file an affidavit with details of the communication between the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Janata Party President Subramanium Swamy. It wants to ascertain whether the PM or his office delayed consent for a CBI investigation into the role played by former telecom minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum scam.

Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam will file an affidavit on the PM’s behalf by Friday. The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for Tuesday.

After the court’s directive, the Opposition hardened it stand on a joint parliamentary committee. “Earlier, our party thought the JPC could be one of the ways to probe the issue. But now. the JPC is the only option,” said Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M) after the Opposition stalled Parliament proceedings over their demand for the eighth day.

The Congress core committee that met today did not agree to form a JPC as a measure to appease the Opposition and decided to stick to its counter-offensive strategy at least until the end of this week. UPA leaders Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram and Ahmad Patel are known to have opposed to the idea of forming a JPC. Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal was also called for the meeting to give his views.

Mukherjee, the leader of the Lok Sabha, has been asked to speak with key BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Lal Krishna Advani on Friday to try and resolve the impasse in the House. Mukherjee also held a meeting with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and his deputy, V Narayanasamy, at his residence.

Another section of the party, however, feels a JPC can break the stalemate, but comes with riders. “If at all there is a JPC, it should cover the spectrum issue from 1998, when Pramod Mahajan was the telecom minister in the NDA regime,” said a Congress manager.

Yechury met the PM in a corridor of the Rajya Sabha today.

According to Yechury, “I told the Prime Minister he should explain his position and clear the doubts about the PMO’s role in the 2G spectrum allocation. The PM smiled and nodded in the affirmative.”

The BJP yet again reiterated its stand that only a JPC probe could bring out the whole truth in the 2G spectrum allocation scam that cost the government exchequer crores of rupees.

The BJP has alleged that it was not just telecom minister A Raja who was involved, but that the role of other senior members of the government should be probed in the JPC.

“Former telecom minister A Raja has repeatedly said he had informed Singh about the 2G spectrum allocation. Why doesn’t the PM come out in the open and clear his stand. What is stopping him?” said Prakash Javadekar, the BJP spokesperson.

First Published: Fri, November 19 2010. 00:03 IST