New Delhi: Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) chairman P. C. Chacko on Monday dismissed media reports that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was aware of the 2G scam, and alleged that there was an ulterior motive behind it.
Chacko claimed that it was not private and confidential information and the document was with the committee.
"It appears that there is some ulterior motive behind that so we are not bothered about that at all. What is reported to be private, confidential information is not private not confidential, it is with the committee," he said.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha reiterated the demand that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram should depose before the JPC, and said the report had exposed that PMO was in league with Raja.
"Clearly, the PMO was involved and the PMO was in league with Raja in this matter and the truth has finally come out. We have been demanding that Prime Minister and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram should depose before the JPC," he said.
The Hindu, citing documentary evidences, reported that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh directed senior PMO officials to examine the then Telecom Minister A. Raja's decision to allocate controversial telecom licenses and they supported it.
"New evidence shows that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, far from being "at arm''s length" from ex-Telecom Minister A. Raja's controversial 2G decisions, had directed officials in the PMO to "examine urgently" Mr. Raja's letters outlining his intended decisions which eventually led to the 2G scam on January 10, 2008. Investigation now reveals that senior PMO officials had supported several of Mr. Raja's acts on file, well before the 2G scam," The Hindu reports.
Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat defended the police of first come and first serve adopted by Raja while allocating the licenses.
"The policy was beneficial both to the exchequer and public. People got mobile services at cheaper rate and money accrued to exchequer," said Rawat.
Former Telecom Minister Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.
First Published: Monday, March 18, 2013, 21:02