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Meira Kumar assures Raja opportunity to speak in Parliament

February 22, 2011 - New Delhi

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday said she will consider any request from arrested former Telecom Minster A Raja to participate in the debate on 2G spectrum allocation scam once it comes on her table.

Responding to questions on Raja' reported request to his party Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) to allow him to take part in the debate on the issue of 2G spectrum allocation, Kumar said: "Let his request come, then I will consider."

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has announced the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Addressing the Lok Sabha, Dr. Singh today said: "The Winter Session was lost and the country cannot afford to lose another session. Our Government is committed to root out corruption."

"The Government is fully cooperating with the investigations into the 2G scam. The Government also agrees to setting up of JPC," he added.

Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal is expected to move a motion for JPC formation on February 24.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created a logjam during the Winter Session of Parliament over the demand for setting up of a JPC probe into 2G-spectrum scam.

47-year-old Raja, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 2 on charges of criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the 2G scam, is presently lodged in Tihar Jail.

Raja's personal secretary RK Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behuria and managing director of DB Realty Shahid Balwa have been so far arrested over their alleged roles in the 2G scam.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.


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