BJP demands immediate cancellation of S-band deal

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Demanding immediate cancellationof Antrix-Devas deal for scarce S-band spectrum, BJP todayasked how a high-powered panel headed by former CabinetSecretary B K Chaturvedi could probe the issue when hehimself was among those who had approved it in 2005.

"The deal should be cancelled immediately. Variousgovernment departments had raised questions on the agreement.

It had been seven months now that government was aware of theissue," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.

In reply to a question, she said her party is not beingunreasonable in demanding an immediate cancellation of thedeal as the matter was before the government for the pastseven months.

On the appointment of Chaturvedi as head of the panel,she said, "Is it right if decisions taken by some people areinvestigated by the same people?"

She claimed that Chaturvedi as Cabinet Secretary was oneof those who had approved the agreement between ISRO''scommercial arm Antrix and Devas Multimedia.

Sitharaman said the BJP was "very worried" that everydecision the government was taking to answer allegations wasturning out to be an attempt to "cover up".

The two-member Committee, headed by B K Chaturvedi,Member, Planning Commission, will review the technical,commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreementbetween Antrix and Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, an officialstatement today said.

It will also review the adequacy of procedures andapproval processes followed by Antrix, ISRO and Department ofSpace, and suggest improvements and changes.

The BJP spokesperson said while she was not fully awareof the terms of reference of the committee, it was importantfor it to trace the money trail.

"The money was routed through Mauritius by a holdingcompany based in the US," she alleged.

She also questioned how the S-band or the ''gold band''used by the Coast Guard and intelligence agencies could beleased to a company based in the US. "In a way this meansentry of foreign firms in the defence sector," she said.


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