A day after the Supreme Court referred to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's alleged silence on a complaint that sought sanction for prosecution of the former Minister, A. Raja, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) stepped up the pressure on him, demanding that he explain the entire 2G spectrum allocation issue.

Both the parties on Wednesday referred to the court's remarks as the issue disrupted Parliament for the past few days.

The Opposition has been demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into the alleged corruption in spectrum allocation, the Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.

On the campaign trail in Bihar, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani said that for the first time the Supreme Court had pointed the finger at a Prime Minister, and demanded that Dr. Singh respond to the observations without delay.

“This is the first time in the history of free India that the apex court has raised fingers on a Prime Minister… [Manmohan] Singh should publicly respond to its … observations immediately,” he was quoted by PTI as saying at a meeting at Sasaram.

Describing spectrum as the “biggest ever corruption issue” the country had ever seen, Mr. Advani said the party was surprised that Mr. Raja was still not behind bars.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau said the Prime Minister should explain in Parliament how this “murky affair” was allowed to go on for so long. The court rightly asked why the Prime Minister had delayed responding to the request for permission to prosecute Mr. Raja for so many months. “It should be further asked why the Prime Minister refused to order a probe into the telecom scam for a longer period despite repeated requests,” the Polit Bureau said in a statement.

The CPI(M) referred to a letter written by its Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury to the Prime Minister in November 2008, demanding an inquiry.

Mr. Advani said he wrote to Dr. Singh 11 months ago, but was yet to receive a response.

The CPI(M) said that not only Mr. Raja but all officials involved in the alleged scam should be prosecuted. All companies that benefited illegally should be asked to pay up the market value of the spectrum. And the licences of those that got the spectrum illegally should be cancelled. “Corporate crime cannot be condoned, as the UPA government is prone to do so.”

The alleged scams will figure at a meeting of the CPI(M) Central Committee beginning here on November 19, general secretary Prakash Karat told The Hindu.

Keywords: 2G Spectrum

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