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Demand for JPC probe red herring political stunt

Chennai: Dismissing the Opposition demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam as a "red herring political stunt", Congress on Saturday accused them of trying to keep the issue boiling by insisting only on it.

"It is a red herring political stunt and that is why we are not accepting it. If we are scared why would there be eight proceedings, including CBI and IT probes into the matter," AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

Speaking to reporters here, he charged the Opposition with trying to keep the issue boiling.

"What extra will the JPC do that the CBI or the Income Tax department cannot do? The Opposition wants to divert and digress and keep the issue boiling," he said, adding all possible help to Public Accounts Committee had been offered, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh volunteering to appear before the panel, headed by BJP`s Murli Manohar Joshi.

Singhvi, who was here to attend a function, said there is a difference among Congress and BJP and other parties when it came to acting on corruption charges.

"There are these eight proceedings going on in the 2G spectrum issue alone. As for as BJP is concerned, the party not only legitimised Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa (on land scam and illegal mining allegations) but also reappointed him," he said.

While any political party had to face corruption charges, it was Congress which acted on them, he said in an apparent reference to scams such as Adarsh Housing and Commonwealth games linked to its party leaders.

Asked if the 2G spectrum allocation scam had `embarrassed` his party, he said it arose only when there was an attempt to hide or cover up things.

"We are unequivocally committed for punishing the guilty and that such things don`t recur," he said.

On Congress-DMK ties and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa`s offer of support to the former in case of DMK`s exit over the spectrum issue some weeks back, he said, "As of now, we (Congress and DMK) are in a marriage. We are where we are."

Condoling the death of pilgrims at Idukki district in a stampede on Friday, he said preventive mechanism should be evolved to ensure such mishaps do not recur.

Responding to the recent killing of a Tamil Nadu fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, he said the party was "intensely concerned".

Referring to the price rise issue, he said the Centre was adopting a `concerted multi-pronged` strategy to manage it.

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