Cable TV

Terror attack puts paid to CAS Bill discussion in RS today

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NEW DELHI: If it's not this then it's that. Yesterday it was the opposition uproar over the alleged irregularities by the petroleum ministry in the allotment of petrol pump dealerships. The terrorist strike on Hindu pilgrims in Kashmir in the early hours today closed the lid on any chances that the Cable TV Network Regulation Amendment Bill 2002 had of coming up for discussion.

The Bill was listed as the second item on today's Rajya Sabha (Upper House) agenda. The chances of that happening seem nonexistent following the terrorist attack on pilgrims en route to the Amarnath shrine this morning. Eight pilgrims were killed and 32 wounded when militants attacked the heavily guarded base camp for the pilgrims near Pahalgam, 100 km from Srinagar in the south Kashmir district of Anantnag. One militant was also reportedly killed when security forces retaliated, according to police sources in Srinagar.

The attack, close on the heels of the absolute chaos Parliament has been witnessing in the last few days, has probably put paid to the chances of the CAS bill coming up for discussion today. If, in between discussing the militant attack and the slanging match on the allotment of the petrol pumps, the Elders can find the time to discuss the Bill then there may yet be a some news to report on this front before the day is out.

The Bill could not be taken up for discussion yesterday as both houses of Parliament were adjourned following opposition uproar over the alleged irregularities by the petroleum ministry in the allotment of petrol pump dealerships. The Bill is the second on today's agenda, and a three hour discussion on the issue of conditional access system has been allowed. Sources in the I & B ministry said if the Bill does make it to today's business in the Rajya Sabha, it could well sail through.

The Bill has had a rough passage thus far with I&B minister working hard to ensure unanimity between the ruling party and opposition members on the issue of CAS.

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