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'Discussion on Kandahar issue likely tomorrow'

"It is not Congress alone but the whole UPA that wants a debate on the issue," Dasmunsi said on Wednesday.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2006 18:43 IST

The issue of then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh's journey to Kandahar in 1999 along with three terrorists and the NDA's offer of ransom to ensure release of the passengers of the hijacked IC-814 is likely to come up for discussion in the Parliament on Thursday.

"It is not the Congress alone but the whole UPA that wants a debate on the issue," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said on Wednesday.

He said several notices for a discussion on the issue under various rules had been received and most probably, a discussion would take place on Thursday.

The debate on the issue would be a partial success for former Delhi Chief Minister and expelled BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana in his crusade against some BJP leaders, including former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.

Demanding an inquiry into the alleged payment to IC-814 hijackers during the NDA regime, Khurana has written two letters to the Prime Minister on this issue.

The discussion on Kandahar would definitely be an embarassment for the BJP, which till now, was denying any money paid to the terrorists in the wake of the Kandahar episode.

Jaswant Singh is already in the dock, defending himself over the 'mole' in the PMO issue he had referred to in his book A call to Honour.

The Congress and its allies tried to raise a privilege motion in the Rajya Sabha against Jaswant Singh for misleading the House over his 'mole' theory but Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said he would study the issue before accepting any such motion.

"We have not yet given up our efforts," Dasmunsi said.

Jaswant Singh had, in the Rajya Sabha, submitted certain correspondence between former US Ambassador to India Harry Barnes and US Senator Thomas Graham to substantiate his claim of a mole in the PMO. Barnes, however, denied having received any such letter from Graham.

"We will go through the authenticated document and version of Jaswant Singh and discuss various options we can take at the Congress Parliamentary party," Dasmunsi said.