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Union ministers allegedly in sting operatorsí net
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
Political circles are agog about an alleged sting operation reportedly catching on camera the misdemeanour and dalliance of certain Union Ministers which can highly embarass the Congress-led UPA government.

A confidential report is said to have been submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the possibility of the compact discs (CDs) of the sting operation by a private investigating agency making its way to the highly competitive and cut throat private television news channels wanting to push up their flagging TRPs.

The report is said to have drawn attention to the sting operation having been unleashed in January. However, the CDs have been withheld either to arm twist the ministers concerned or make a blast at an appropriate time.

Information gleaned from various sources insist that several more sting operators are on the prowl to purportedly capture on film the wrong doings of well known politicians and mainstream public figures.

Furious and anxious phone calls are flying back and forth in the political firmament. Parliamentarians are wondering if these so called salacious CDs are in circulation and who are these political heavyweights believed to be in the eye of a gathering storm.

There is consternation in the government as it is acutely aware of how the Tehelka expose forced former BJP president Bangaru Laxman to make an ignominous exit and put then Samata party president Jaya Jaitley in an awkward situation.

This provided the necessary lever to the Opposition to put the then BJP-led NDA government on the mat. George Fernandes as the Union Defence Minister at that juncture had to resign. Several months later after he returned to the Vajpayee government in the same capacity, Mr Fernandes was boycotted by the Opposition for the remaining period of the previous Lok Sabha.

In an effort to blunt the adverse and deleterious impact on the government in case the CDs are made public, some quiet behind the scenes exercise is purportedly under way.

The matter assumes significance as the Manmohan Singh government is worried that the release of the CDs can affect the passage of the critical money bills slated in the second half of the ongoing Budget session of Parliament in April-May after the upcoming break at the end of this week.

Sources claimed that some of the sting operators have been identified as also the luxury hotels and government guest houses where they have carried out their operation. However, the CDs in question have proved to be elusive so far.

A private TV news channel which had burst into the open with its casting couch sting operation has been threatning to blow the lid of certain politicians and mainstream public figures.
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