No deferment of CAS deadline: BJP

NEW DELHI: Does the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), leading the coalition government in India, want the implementation of conditional access to be deferred? As of today, the official answer is no.

After addressing a press conference here today , BJP's spokesperson and a member of Rajya Sabha (Upper House) M A Naqvi told, "There is no question of a rollback on the decision (to implement CAS from 14 July in four metros)."

He further said that the party, totally behind the government and the decisions taken by it, has no immediate plans to "discuss the issue of CAS" within the organisation.

"There is no proposal at the moment to discuss CAS within the BJP," Naqvi said.

When asked by whether the party president Venkaiah Naidu or deputy prime minister L K Advani have brought up the issue formally in the party, Naqvi replied in the negative.

However, he added that since the BJP is a democratic party, any member could bring up an issue that can be discussed by the party. "But I can tell you that as of today, there is no such move on CAS," Naqvi, a former minister of state for information and broadcasting ministry, explained.

Though for the present this statement lays to rest speculations on deferment of CAS implementation deadline, BJP watchers here opined that in politics anything can happen at any time. They also felt they will not be surprised that 10 days from now, BJP actually does a U-turn and says it wants the government to defer the 14 July deadline in public interest.

In the capital, there was lot of interest about the BJP press conference as the industry wanted to see if some signals were emanating from the party post hectic lobbying for and against CAS implementation.

So much so that a section of cable operators chose today to present a memorandum on CAS to senior functionaries of the government. Yesterday, the National Cable & Telecom Association had presented a memo to the president, prime minister and the deputy prime minister of the country urging that the government should not delay CAS implementation. Today's memo was also on the same lines.

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