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Left alleges ‘new scam’ in ISRO allotment of spectrum

New Delhi: Terming as ”very serious” reports alleging that ISRO benefited a private firm through allocation of scarce S-band spectrum without a bidding process, Left parties today demanded a thorough probe into the ”new scam”.

“This is a new issue. The ISRO is under the Department of Space which is under Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh). This is also a new scam,” CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said the new revelations were “very serious”, a view echoed by senior RSP leader Abani Roy who demanded a JPC into the matter.

Media reports claimed that the Comptroller and Auditor General has initiated inquiries into ISRO’s agreement with a Bangalore-based firm for launch of two satellites besides allegedly providing 70 MHz of S-band spectrum for a period of 20 years without going through a bidding process.

The report quoted the preliminary CAG estimates that the spectrum allocation could have caused the exchequer a loss in excess of Rs two lakh crore.

“The revelations have added a new dimension to the 2G spectrum scam. The ISRO is directly under the control of Department of Space headed by the Prime Minister. It is very serious as ISRO deals with space and it has implications on our security,” Raja said.

He said the issue will be discussed among the four Left parties.

Roy said the Left will “definitely” demand inclusion of the “new scam” in the ambit of JPC. “Whether it should be a separate JPC or it should be incorporated in the 2G spectrum issue has to be studied,” he said.

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