2G: 11 MPs reject report; PAC meeting ends in pandemonium

Last Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 19:15

New Delhi: 11 MPs, including one each
from SP and BSP, of the 21-member PAC today "rejected" the
draft report on 2-G scam that indicted former Telecom Minister
A Raja and made critical comments on the Prime Minister and
the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

In unprecedented scenes at a stormy meeting of the
committee, the ruling coalition MPs (7 Congress, 2 DMK), aided
by SP and BSP, "elected" Congress member Saifuddin Soz as
chairman who put the resolution for rejection of the report to
vote.
The `election` took place once Joshi had left the
meeting after Soz moved a resolution seeking a vote on the
adoption of the draft report.

In the "vote" that took place after the nine members
belonging to opposition parties (BJP, JD(U), BJD and AIDMK)
had left, 11 members rejected the report, Soz claimed.

"I will now present the whole proceedings to the
Speaker for her decision," he told reporters.

Soz said in a democracy when situations are created
then such things (election) happen.

A Congress MP V Arun Kumar said the election of Soz
was for this meeting, which was the second session of the
proceedings convened by Joshi to discuss the draft report.

In more drama, Soz later went to Joshi`s office and
handed over the "resolution" rejecting the report to his
staff. He said he would apprise the Speaker of the
developments in the meeting.

Joshi himself told reporters after adjourning the
meeting that the ruling side members said that the draft
report was "outsourced".

"I wanted to say something but they did not allow me.
So I adjourned the meeting," he said.

However, Congress members claimed that Joshi was not
prepared to listen to them and "ran away".

Another opposition MP said the Congress MPs demanded
that Joshi resign and did not allow him to conduct the
meeting.

In the first session, after three hours of
deliberations, Joshi found the going tough and adjourned the
proceedings till 4 PM.

During the morning session, the 11 MPs gave in writing
rejecting the report and demnding a vote. They spoke against
the draft report alleging malafide intentions behind it. BJP
MP Yashwant Sinha defended Joshi.

Soz` resolution read, "I move that the draft report on
recent developments in the allocation of 2-G and 3-G Spectrum
circulated by chairman be rejected." He moved it the moment
the post-lunch session started.
In case of lack of consensus in Committee meetings,
rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha
provide that all questions at any sittings of the Committee
shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members
present and voting.

The draft report indicts the Prime Minister and the
PMO for giving an "indirect green signal" to Raja for going
ahead with his policies.

It also attacked the then Finance Minister
P Chidambaram for recommending to the Prime Minister to "treat
the matter as closed" instead of taking action against those
responsible for loss to the exchequer.

The voluminous report had some unpleasant words for
Singh, who had kept his office at "arm`s length" in 2G
spectrum issue which helped Raja "to execute his unfair,
arbitrary and dubious designs".

During the meeting, UPA members expressed concern over
leakage of the draft report. Congress and DMK members demanded
voting to decide whether the report should be submitted to Lok
Sabha.

The meeting began with members cutting across party
lines discussing the leakage of the draft report which was
circulated to the Parliamentary Committee by Chairperson Murli
Manohar Joshi. Some members said this was a matter of ethics
and suggested that CBI should investigate it.

Sources said though there were major differences
between members the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.
Joshi reportedly gave each member the opportunity to express
his views.

The strength of the two sides is delicately balanced
in the 21-member committee which has seven representatives
from the Congress, four from BJP, two each from AIADMK and
DMK, and one each from Shiv Sena, BJD, JD(U), SP, BSP and
CPI(M).

Rules state that in case of all financial reports if
the majority in the committee decides against presentation of
the report to the Speaker, the Chairperson has to go by this
decision.

The Congress and DMK had yesterday attacked Joshi over
the report and demanded his resignation, alleging that he was
trying to destabilise the government.

The controversial distribution of licences and
spectrum was taken by the DMK representative in the Cabinet on
January 10, 2008, which the CAG had estimated a presumptive
revenue loss of over Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 19:15

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