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2G snaps Oppn unity

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2010 00:28 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Cracks seem to have appeared in Opposition unity on the 2G spectrum scam and tapes allegedly containing conversations between Telecom Minister A Raja and lobbyist Niira Radia.

Opposition parties outside the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance are unhappy with the saffron party's reluctance to support their demand of raising the topic during the ongoing monsoon session.

The issue figured during the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting of the Lok Sabha earlier this week. It was raised by Dr M Thambidurai, AIADMK leader in the House.

In a written representation to Speaker Meira Kumar, Thambidurai pointed out that during the budget session, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in the Lok Sabha that the matter would be discussed once financial business was completed.

Thambidurai was supported by CPM leader Basudeb Acharia and leaders of the CPI, TDP and BJD who said the government did not keep its promise.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, however, is understood to have suggested to these parties not to rake up old issues and, instead, concentrate on major issues such as price rise.

Her suggestion ignited a war of words between the leaders. It was left to the Speaker to defuse the situation by saying she would take a final decision soon.

The non-NDA parties seem set to raise the issue.

"We are not bothered about the change of stand of any party. After price rise, the Bhopal gas tragedy and 2G spectrum issue are on our radar," said a senior leader.

The CBI is currently investigating the 2G spectrum scam, but has not given date by which it would complete the probe.

Parliament proceedings were severely disrupted during the budget session following disclosures in audio tapes about how Radia allegedly influenced the allocation of licences for 2G spectrum for mobile phones.

In a bid to restore normalcy, Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha on April 28 :"On all these issues, we will have the opportunity of holding discussions with various political parties. Either the Prime Minister or I will come to the House. But this will be done after the finance bill is passed. I am not running away. The session is till May 7."