New Delhi: Ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday sought to take the sting out of Opposition attack on the 2G issue, saying Parliament should not "pre-judge" it as the matter is before courts.

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"The matter is before courts. It should be left to be decided by the court and Parliament should not pre-judge the issue," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of an all-party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar.

The BJP has been gunning for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram in the wake of former Telecom Minister A Raja's allegations against them in the 2G case.

Opposition parties like the AIADMK have also demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister as also Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Raja's charges in 2G spectrum scam of "Himalayan proportions".

On Anna Hazare's threat to go on a fast from August 16 in protest against a "weak" Lokpal Bill, Singh said the Lokpal Bill's fate will be decided by Parliament.

"As you know, we are ready with the Lokpal Bill. Lokpal Bill's fate will be decided by Parliament. In a democracy, Parliament is a sovereign body, it should be allowed to function and discharge its duty," he said.

On Telangana MPs and MLAs resigning over the statehood demand, Singh hoped that the government would overcome the issue.

 

Opposition has too many skeletons in cupboard: PM

On the eve of parliament's monsoon session, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday sought to take the wind out of sails of the opposition on the 2G spectrum allocation row, saying it had 'too many skeletons in its cupboard' and that it should not 'pre-judge' a matter that is sub-judice.

'We are not afraid of discussing the issue of corruption. The opposition also has too many skeletons in its cupboard. We are not afraid of discussing any issue in the Parliament,'

'There are some matters, which are in the courts and being investigated by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). I sincerely hope that the matters which are in courts should be left to be decided by courts and we should not pre-judge the issue,' Singh said.

His remarks came as the Bharatiya Janata Party and the AIADMK trained guns on the prime minister and Home Minister P. Chidambaram after former communications minister A. Raja alleged that they had the knowledge of his actions on the 2G spectrum allocation.

On social activist Anna Hazare's threat to go on a fast from Aug 16 in protest a 'weak' Lokpal bill approved by the cabinet for parliament's consideration, the prime minister said the bill's fate will be decided by parliament.

'Our government has taken a view taking all factors into account. It is not advisable to bring the prime minister (under) the purview of the Lokpal except when he demits office,' Singh said when asked about civil society members' demand for bringing the prime minister within the ambit of ombudsman.

On MPs and legislators from Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region resigning over the statehood demand, Manmohan Singh hoped that the government would overcome the issue.

Noting that the government was 'prepared' to discuss all issues in parliament, he said: 'It is my sincere hope that this session of parliament will be peaceful, will be productive. Parliament is the supreme democratic institution of the country.

 

BJP seeks PM, PC 'reply' on Raja claim

Meanwhile, BJP on Sunday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Finance Minister when the 2G Spectrum allocation was made, P Chidambaram, give
"proper reply" to former Telecom Minister A Raja's claim that the issue of sale of equity by spectrum licencees was discussed with them.

Responding to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's demand on Saturday seeking explanation from Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue, BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman told over phone that even before Jayalalithaa's demand, BJP had been calling for clarity over the matter.

"Now that Jayalalithaa has also raised the issue, the Prime Minister and Chidambaram should answer. It is high time the government gives proper reply to all the questions on 2G scam," she said.

(Agencies)