NATIONAL

NDA to raise Tehelka issue

NEW DELHI, DEC. 6. The registration of corruption cases by the CBI today against the former BJP president, Bangaru Laxman and the former Samata Party President, Jaya Jaitley in the Tehelka case has set the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on a confrontation course with the United Progressive Alliance Government.

In its 75-minute meeting here today chaired by its chairman, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA decided to intensify its demand for a discussion in Parliament under Rule 184 on price rise, to continue with its boycott of "tainted Ministers'', including the JMM leader, Sibu Soren and to raise the Tehelka issue in Parliament.

Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, which was held to decide the NDA strategy in Parliament, the NDA convener, George Fernandes said a discussion under Rule 184 which provides for voting would be demanded by the NDA in the Lok Sabha's Business Advisory Committee meeting tomorrow. The NDA has already given a notice for discussion under Rule 184 on rising prices of various commodities.

The BJP spokesperson, V. K. Malhotra said, "Let there be voting under Rule 184, and let the Left parties and the Samajwadi Party who are opposing price hike outside Parliament be exposed if they go with the Congress.''

Describing the registration of cases in the Tehelka case as "witch-hunting'', Mr. Malhotra said the CBI was being misused. "On the one hand, the Congress had withdrawn cases against the former Minister, Satish Sharma and others and on the other, it is foisting cases on the opposition leader with the intention of vendetta. These issues would be raised in Parliament.''

Mr. Sharma said the repeal of POTA was a dangerous move. "When terrorism is on the rise and new anti-terrorist laws are being made the world over, India is the first country to repeal such a law. This is against national interest.'' These issues would be discussed and the floor strategy decided at the BJP parliamentary committee meeting tomorrow.

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