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Natwar is a small fish, bigger is Sonia, Congress: BJP

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 9 (UNI) The BJP today asserted that it would press for a discussion on the Privilege Motion against the leak of the Pathak Authority report, failing which it would not allow other proceedings in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

"The functioning of the Lok Sabha will depend on whether the Speaker responds to our notice for the Privilege Motion on the issue," BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra said, after a meeting of senior BJP leaders in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha held at the residence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee this evening.

Mr Malhotra reiterated the party's demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologise for the leakage of the Pathak Panel's report to the media before it was laid in Parliament which was in session.

He said the meeting identified two issues--Indo-US Nuclear Deal and the Pathak Report--to be raised strongly in both the Houses in Parliament. On the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, the BJP had decided to submit a memorandum to President APJ Abdul Kalam expressing its apprehensions about the deal which was not in national interest.

Besides, the party alleged that the UPA government was buckling under U.S. pressure to change the draft of the deal to make it more favourable to that country.

On the Pathak Authority's report, Mr Malhotra said it was more an effort to exonerate Congress and its President Sonia Gandhi of the corruption charges. The BJP was convinced about Mrs Sonia Gandhi's involvement in the Iraqi Oil for Food Scam. Indictment of former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh was aimed at saving Mrs Gandhi."Natwar is a small fish, bigger is Sonia, Congress," he added.

Mr Malhotra said the party had decided to link the Volcker allegations to Scorpene Deal, Bofors Controversy and Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi to expose the Congress inside and outside Parliament.

Justifying Mr Vajpayee's letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, he said he had conveyed the feelings of the Members of Parliament belonging to the NDA.

Reacting to the Left challenge to dare move a no-confidence motion against the Speaker if they had no trust in him, Mr Malhotra dubbed the Left parties as ''coward'', saying the issue was still open. The NDA would decide whether it should move a no-confidence motion against the Speaker.

He, however, criticised the Speaker for allowing about 15 members to speak against NDA during Question Hour yesterday when NDA members were not in the House and holding a 'silent' protest in the Parliament Complex against the manner the Speaker had allowed business on Monday.

When pointed out that BJP leader and cine star Shatrughan Sinha had assured all support to the suspended Congress leader Natwar Singh, Mr Malhotra said the BJP would stand by him if he exposed the involvement of the Congress and its President Sonia Gandhi Iraqi Oil for Food Scam.

UNI KAS RP BD1944

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