2G: Congress sees ploy in BJP demand to `shield` corporates

The BJP has demanded to summon the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister before the JPC probing the 2G scam.

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday saw a ploy to "shield" corporates having a stakehold in 2G spectrum allocation in BJP`s latest demand to summon the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister before the JPC probing the scam.

"The remit of the JPC extends from 1998 to 2009. There are three stakeholders in this process - the executive, the regulators and the corporates. The executive and regulators have been extensively examined. The corporates are untouched.”

"The demand to summon ministers may be a cat`s paw to shield the corporates," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told a news agency.

His remarks came against the backdrop of JPC member and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha`s demand to call Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidamabaram before the panel and gain significance as Tewari is a prominent Congress member in the JPC headed by senior party MP PC Chacko.

Tewari in the last meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee had reportedly demanded that the transcript of the Niira Radia tapes be made available to the Committee to understand the politician-corporate nexus.

In his letter to Chacko, Sinha maintained that there can be no problem in "creating a new precedent" by the panel as was done by the JPC in 1992 (for the market scam) when ministers were summoned for evidence.

Referring to the summoning of ministers, Tewari said, "If at all, ministers have to be summoned, then all Telecom and Finance Ministers from 1998 onwards must be called in chronological order. There cannot be any cherry picking.

"There is also a moral dilemma should former Finance Ministers who serve on the JPC be witnesses before the same committee on which they serve? However, that call is best left to their conscience," the Congress spokesman said.


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