Spurred by the CBI raids on the premises of former Telecom minister A Raja, the AIADMK and the CPI today demanded his immediate arrest while the BJP and other Opposition parties intensified their campaign for a JPC probe into the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam.

“Raja should be arrested at the earliest. He should be sent to Tihar Jail and criminal proceedings should be initiated against him and he should be treated as a class three prisoner,” CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said.

He said the action against the DMK MP should have been taken much earlier as he was given time to “hide” things.

Demanding the arrest of Mr Raja, AIADMK leader V Maitreyan said the raids have come a little late “but better late then never. We hope that these raids are for real and not merely an eyewash into the scam.”

The Congress, which is leading the UPA coalition of which DMK is part, justified the raids with party spokesman Manish Tiwari noting that they have been carried out after investigation by the agency.

Buoyed by the CBI raids, NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said that the demand for JPC was not only for the 2G spectrum issue but similar probes in Commonwealth Games projects and Adarsh housing scam.

As the tug-of-war over the JPC issue sharpened, the Opposition including the BJP, the JD(U) and the Left said JPC probe had become more relevant after the CBI raids.

The demand for the JPC probe was again rejected by the government today.

Going on the offensive, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal accused the Opposition of committing breach of privilege of Parliament by “throttling” the PAC going into the 2G spectrum allocation issue.

As Parliament was shut for the 19th working day today, Mr. Bansal came down heavily on the Opposition alleging that the continuing logjam had raised question mark on the relevance of Parliament.

“No JPC, no sine die adjournment of Parliament ahead of schedule,” Mr. Bansal said dubbing as “intriguing and disconcerting” that senior leaders of NDA have expressed their reservation about the “fast track” work of the PAC, headed by a senior BJP leader.

“There is an effort to somehow put an obstacle on the work of PAC. Senior members of the NDA are throttling the committee. It is nothing but a clear case of breach of privilege,” he said.

He said the PAC and the Estimates Committee were well established institutions of Parliament where members cutting across party lines discuss important issues.

PAC chairman and veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, asked for his reaction on Mr.Bansal’s statement that NDA leaders have asked the PAC to go slow on the 2 G issue, refused to comment.