Kargil arms issue stalls Houses

New Delhi, April 19 | Updated: Apr 20 2005, 05:30am hrs
NDA stalled Parliament seeking the withdrawal of the second affidavit filed on the Kargil arms purchase. The Opposition alliance sought the tabling of the Justice Phukan Commission report as well as the CVC report immediately. While the Congress-led government was ready to hold a debate on the issue, it showed hardly any willingness to table the reports.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Tuesday, BJP spokesman VK Malhotra said, We condemn the fraudulent and contradictory second affidavit aimed at former defence minister George Fernandes. The filing of an affidavit, contrary to the first one, shows political vendetta by the government. With Sonia Gandhi having used the Kargil arms purchase issue to attack NDA for quite sometime, the first affidavit proved her wrong. The second affidavit has been filed on her behest.

Demanding the tabling of the Phukan Commission report and the CVC report, he said, The Phukan Commission report has been long-pending. With the Commissions of Inquiry Act making it mandatory that the reports be tabled within six months, the Phukan report is already late by eight months. Even Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has written to the government on the issue and has given us assurance on this.

Moreover, although the Centre refused to table the CVC report initially saying that it was confidential and involved certain national security issues, he said that the CVC report has been quoted in the affidavits filed in the Supreme Court. Then why cant the report be tabled in Parliament he asked.

BJP president LK Advani sees the entire episode as a move to weaken the Opposition, Mr Malhotra said.

Congress spokesman Anand Sharma, however, dismissed the Oppositions charges saying, The two affidavits are not contradictory. The additional affidavit only contains additional information sought by the Supreme Court. It is George Fernandes who thought that the earlier affidavit absolved him. He, however, was unable to give a convincing reply on law minister HR Bharadwajs statement that the defence ministery had changed the draft affidavit sent by him. He said that there was no difference in opinion on the issue in the government.

He attacked the NDA for stalling Parliament. We are ready for discussions. There is no justification for NDA stalling House proceedings. They just want to make a point without a discussion.