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BJP Threatens Privilege Motion Against Sibal

PTI 10 Dec 2010, 20:51:39 IST
New Delhi, Dec 10 (PTI) Upset over the announcement of a probe into 2G issue outside Parliament, BJP today threatened to move a privilege motion against Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, triggering a war of words.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said his party is "seriously" examining the possibility of bringing a privilege motion against Sibal for announcing the probe at a press conference and not in Parliament when it is in session.

"Our Lok Sabha colleagues are seriously examining the possibility (to move a privilege motion against Sibal)...the motion can be brought in the House of which the minister is a member," Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, told reporters here.

Earlier in the day, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the manner in which Sibal made the announcement "is highly objectionable and may invite privilege".

He noted that the "general practice is not to make any policy announcement outside the House when Parliament is in session."

Sibal had yesterday announced appointment of a one-man committee of retired Supreme Court Justice Shivaraj V Patil to probe the allocation of 2G spectrum since 2001, a period involving the NDA regime.

Sibal hit back, saying the government could not be "educated" by the BJP on the law of parliamentary privileges.

"Now we understand that not only does the law of parliamentary privileges for the BJP mean the privilege to obstruct parliament, but it also means the privilege to obstruct running my ministry," the minister said.

"I wish the Leader of Opposition had been more thoughtful and circumspect when... (he) enunciated the law of parliamentary privileges. For one's vision should not be blurred in enunciating the law when one is obsessed with politics," he said.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari termed Opposition's objection to the announcement as "black humour" and said BJP was responsible for it as it has not allowed the House to function for the last 21 days.

"BJP seems to have become a specialist in black humour. These people are talking about the propriety of Parliament when they have not allowed it to function for the last 20 days," he told reporters here.

Tewari said when Parliament was not allowed to function by the opposition, then "where is Kapil Sibal going to announce the formation of the inquiry committee."

Asking the opposition parties to "introspect" on its stand on the 2G Spectrum allocation issue, Tewari alleged, "They are taking Rs 2000 for two minutes of slogan-raising in Parliament." PTI