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BJP firm on JPC for 2G spectrum probe


Bangalore: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday said it was firm on its demand for a Joint Parliament Committee probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, while non-BJP opposition parties will decide their stand on the issue Feb 9.

“We are firm on the JPC,” BJP’s former president Rajnath Singh told reporters here.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular president H.D. Deve Gowda said his party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Telugu Desam Party and five other smaller parties will meet in New Delhi Feb 9 to decide on the issue.

Singh said there was no question of giving up the demand for a JPC in view of the arrest of former communications minister A. Raja.

“Our demand for JPC will continue in the budget session of Parliament also,” he said.

“The onus is on the government to ensure smooth conduct of Parliament,” he said referring to the wash out of parliament’s winter session over the JPC deadlock.

At a separate press meet, Gowda, along with representatives of Left parties, said the decision on JPC was left to the government.

Raja, who was arrested Wednesday, was asked to resign Nov 14 last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) indicted him in the spectrum allocation scam and for causing losses of between Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) and Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

The issue dates to 2008 when nine telecom firms were issued airwaves, a scarce resource, and licences for second generation (2G) phone services at Rs.1,658 crore (less that $350 million) for a pan-India operation. As many as 122 circle-wise licences were issued.