Rift in UPA over Snoopgate probe

Rift in UPA over Snoopgate probe

Rift in UPA over Snoopgate probe

The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), in its last days in charge, appears like a divided house over the Snoopgate issue, with the allies on Sunday objecting to the government’s decision to appoint a judge to probe allegations of snooping against Narendra Modi.

The Congress, however, stuck to its guns saying there will be “no compromise” on the issue.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convey his objections over the enquiry commission to probe Snoopgate and two other issues.

Pawar’s party colleague Praful Patel clarified the NCP position by saying there was no need for an enquiry when the result of the Lok Sabha elections were expected in just two weeks.

“Setting up a commission of inquiry in the dying hours of UPA 2 is just wrong,” Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and leader of the National Conference Omar Abdullah tweeted, adding that he had discussed the issue with his father and NC patron Farooq Abdullah.
“If the decision to appoint a commission was taken in December, it should have been implemented (then). To appoint a judge five months later is wrong,” Omar said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Remarks from the NCP and the NC come in the wake of assertions by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Law Minister Kapil Sibal that a judge to head the enquiry will be announced before May 16.

The Congress appears determined to appoint the judge for the enquiry commission, which was decided by the Union Cabinet on December 26, notwithstanding the opposing voices within its coalition.  “How does it matter? The point is, there has to be an inquiry,” Congress spokesperson Shobha Ojha said, insisting that there would be no compromise on the decision to probe the Snoopgate issue.

Meanwhile, the BJP welcomed the stand taken by the NCP and the NC saying that the UPA allies were refusing to be part of the “politics of vendetta”.

"They (allies) are telling the Congress that please for god's sake stop this politics of filth and get back to the politics of issues,” BJP spokesman M J Akbar said.