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Left to decide on privilege motion against PM

The Left parties will meet tomorrow to decide whether to move a breach of privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for speaking outside parliament on the Indian Premier League (IPL) controversy.

delhi Updated: May 02, 2010 17:26 IST

The Left parties will meet on Monday to decide whether to move a breach of privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for speaking outside parliament on the Indian Premier League (IPL) controversy.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said on Sunday that the prime minister should not have commented on the IPL controversy outside the house when members were demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the issue.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier this week given a breach of privilege notice against the prime minister in the Lok Sabha on the IPL issue.

Manmohan Singh had told reporters last week on the sidelines of a function that the phone-tapping and IPL controversies were not fit cases for a JPC probe.

"The prime minister has done a wrong thing by announcing outside the house. We will discuss it tomorrow," Yechury told IANS.

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta said on Saturday that the Left parties were gearing up to move a breach of privilege motion against the prime minister on the IPL and phone-tapping controversy.

Left party sources said once a privilege motion was under consideration of the chair, another privilege motion was usually not considered.

They also said the prime minister was a member of the Rajya Sabha and breach of privilege notice should be given in the house of which he is a member.

The opposition, including the BJP and Left, had forced adjournments of the two houses demanding a JPC into the functioning of the cash-rich IPL. The BJP has also demanded a JPC over allegations that telephones of four senior political leaders - Sharad Pawar, Nitish Kumar, Prakash Karat and Digvijay Singh - had been tapped. The government has denied the phone tapping allegation.

The Congress has opposed the breach of privilege notice. According to party leaders, the prime minister was only responding to a query from mediapersons on the IPL and phone tapping controversies, and the opposition leaders too had been raising their demand for a JPC outside the parliament.