No need for JPC on IPL, phone tapping: PM
Both Houses of Parliament were disrupted by the Opposition over the issues on Monday.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday rejected Opposition demand for Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into both the IPL controversy and the phone-tapping issue on the ground that it was not needed.
"JPC for what? This is not a fit case for JPC," Singh said when asked about the Opposition demand for a JPC into the phone tapping allegation.
Asked whether the Government had rejected the demand for a JPC on the IPL issue, Singh said, "I don't think there is a need for a JPC. A JPC is a very serious issue. We can't rush to such a conclusion in haste."
He said Home Minister P Chidambaram had explained the phone tapping allegations in Parliament. "I had offered to come before Parliament after 3.30 pm if there was a sitting, but there was restlessness," he added.
Allegations of illegal telephone tapping on political leaders disrupted both Houses of Parliament on Monday although the Government maintained it had not authorised any such activity nor it found any substance in them.
"I wish to state categorically that no telephone tapping or eavesdropping on political leaders was authorised by the previous UPA government. Nor has the present UPA government authorised any such activity," Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha amid slogan shouting by agitated opposition members.
He made an identical statement in the Upper House.
Both Houses were adjourned for the day as the Opposition showed no signs of relenting.
Singh, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a defence investiture ceremony at Rastrapati Bhavan, also expressed confidence over his government surviving the cut-motions on budgetary grants in Parliament.
"We are as confident as possible," he said.
"Of course, we are confident," Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was also present on the occasion, said when asked about the Opposition threat to bring cut motions against the Finance Bill.
To a query whether the government would be talking to SP and RJD leaders on the cut motions, the Prime Minister said, "We seek the support of all right thinking people."
BJP-led NDA and the 13-party grouping which includes four Left parties have threatened to move cut motions demanding roll back of the recent hike in petroleum and fertiliser prices.
On the prospects of meeting his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani in Bhutan on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, Singh said the leaders would come together under one roof.
"Nothing is certain. If we come together at the same time, it is inevitable you run into each other," he added.
Replying to a question on Afghan President Hamid Karzai's views on Taliban, Singh said, "President Karzai is the best judge of what is good for Afghanistan."
To another query on bringing Women's Reservation Bill in Lok Sabha, he said his government was committed to bring the Bill before Parliament, but the precise date would be finalised by the floor managers.