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Updated: April 28, 2010 01:59 IST

A fit case for breach of privilege, asserts CPI (M)

Special Correspondent
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File photo of CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement outside Parliament rejecting demands for a JPC probe into phone tapping charges is “a fit case” for breach of privilege, Yechury has said.
The Hindu File photo of CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement outside Parliament rejecting demands for a JPC probe into phone tapping charges is “a fit case” for breach of privilege, Yechury has said.

Pointing out that Dr. Singh rejected the demand for JPC probe outside the House, Mr. Yechury said, "Demand for JPC probe should have been answered on the floor."

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with having committed a breach of privilege in rejecting the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) outside the House when Parliament is in session.

“It is very unfortunate that the Prime Minister should make a statement and convey the government's decision [rejecting a JPC probe] outside Parliament. In our view, it is a fit case for breach of privilege,” CPI (M) Parliamentary Party leader Sitaram Yechury told journalists.

Responding to the party's stance in the wake of the BJP moving a breach of privilege on the matter, Mr. Yechury said the matter would be considered on Wednesday since the focus on Tuesday was on the “Bharat Bandh.”

He said the demand for a JPC was raised by the CPI (M) inside the House. “It should have been answered on the floor.”

Interacting with journalists on the sidelines of a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday, Dr. Singh rejected the JPC demand.

Mr. Yechury said the party wanted the government to probe the telephone tapping issue as it was not satisfied with the statement made by Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday.

As for the Indian Premier League (IPL), he said, the CPI (M) wanted the matter to be inquired into comprehensively, considering the enormity and gravity of the charges.

He said attempts to rubbish a JPC were unfounded. He cited the JPC which probed the stock scam, in which public sector bank funds were involved. It recommended systemic changes and in the securities scam later, none of the public sector banks was involved.

The cut motion, he said, was essentially aimed at forcing the government to roll back the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel and fertilizers and not to destabilise the government.

In any case, he said, the fact that the Manmohan Singh government has to start counting its numbers (MPs supporting the government) in its first year speaks of the coalition's instability.

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