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Mole issue: Jaswant says he is ready for queries

"I have no difficulty in responding to anything that the House wishes to be clarified," said Jaswant Singh.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2006 05:03 PM IST

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who claimed presence of a 'mole' in the PMO during PV Narasimha Rao regime, on Monday said he was ready to answer all questions in the Rajya Sabha on the issue.

"I have no difficulty in responding to anything that the House wishes to be clarified," he said after Shahid Siddique (SP) and V Narayanasamy (Cong) during Question Hour wanted to know who passed on nuclear scerets to the US.

"I did not and do not intend to sensationalise (the matter)," he said.

He asked the Rajya Sabha Chairman to decide the manner and form in which the issue would be raised for him to reply to queries.

"Raise queries by all means. I am ready to answer," he said adding the questions would have to be raised in an orderly manner for him to respond.

Earlier, as soon as the House assembled for the day, Siddiqui said he had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour so that the Government can respond to nation's concern on nuclear secrets.

Narayanasamy wanted Singh to disclose the name of the mole.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said the issue was important.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said many questions had been raised in the past few days over who was instrumental in the release of wanted terrorist Azhar Masood and the ranson paid.

"We are ready for discussion in any form," Pachauri said adding questions like why Jaswant Singh kept mum for so long on the 'mole' and why the government he was part of not informed needs to be answered.

Shekhawat said he was prepared for a discussion and the form of debate would be decided in consultations with the Government.

BJP members protested Pachauris' remarks with Sushma Swaraj raising a point of order that the Chairman had allowed a discussion on Siddiqui's notice for suspension of Question Hour and not on Jaswant Singh's book Call of Honour.

Shekhawat said many books have been written and discussions have not been allowed on any of them.

"If you want discussion (on Jaswant Singh's book), then there can be no exceptions."

He said the nature of the debate would be decided later in the day.

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