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Moves to end George's boycott fail

July 28, 2003 20:27 IST

A move to end the 18-month-long boycott of Defence Minister George Fernandes came a cropper on Monday with the government outrightly ruling out any compromise with the Opposition to break the deadlock and declaring the issue closed.

"Why should the government take the initiative. The impasse had started from their side...we went out of our way to end it. What can I do if they (the Congress) are backing out," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told reporters.

The Congress last week had offered to lift the opposition's boycott of George, imposed in wake of the tehelka arms scandal, if a full-fledged debate was allowed on the tehelka expose in the Lok Sabha.

The party later changed stand and said the debate must take place in both Houses of Parliament.

Alleging a "total communication gap" between the Congress leaders and its spokesmen, as also its leaders in the two
Houses, she said that the BJP-led coalition was "not at all agreeable" to hold discussions on the Tehelka issue and
related matters in both Houses of Parliament.

"There is no occasion for such a debate. What new facts have come to light to warrant such a debate. We are not at all
agreeable," she said adding that the government "went out of the way" to help the Congress in the matter.

Earlier report: Govt ready for discussion on Tehelka


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