2G scam: Reworked PAC report stirs row
Public Accounts Committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has made a fresh attempt to make the panel take up his controversial report on the 2G scam.
New Delhi: The circulation of the reworked report of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 2G spectrum scam stirred a row on Sunday with the Congress dismissing the report as “partisan” and “motivated”.
PAC Chairman and veteran BJP leader circulated PAC’s draft report on the 2G spectrum scam afresh on Saturday to the PAC members with a forwarding letter that he was sending them the draft report again after consulting legal experts, rules of procedures and "past precedents".
The reworked report comprises of 575 pages, with 276 pages of documents the PAC had received from government on 2G spectrum allocation.
The report questions the role of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then finance minister P Chidambaram in the allocation of 2G spectrum, which allegedly resulted in the loss of crores of rupees to the national exchequer.
The report is set to provide more ammunition to a combative opposition determined to pin down the government over a slew of corruption charges, including irregularities in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
On June 28, Joshi had made a similar attempt to place the report before the new PAC but his effort was thwarted by its UPA members who managed to secure the support of BSP and SP to secure a majority which rejected the draft report.
Joshi had then sent the report to Speaker Meira Kumar along with a covering letter detailing the sequence of events during the meeting.
But, the Speaker had returned the report to Joshi, who was reappointed as Chairman in May, suggesting it was not supported by the entire PAC whose term ended on April 30.
In his letter to the members, Joshi said he has consulted the experts, looked into precedents and referred to rule books and he believes the draft report is the "unfinished agenda of the previous PAC".
The chairman will now convene a meeting of the PAC to take up the draft report for adoption.
The Congress and the UPA members of the PAC reacted sharply to Joshi`s reworked report and demanded his resignation. The re-circulation of the controversial PAC report amounted to making the committee "partisan and motivated", they said.
“The report deserves to be thrown in the garbage”, said PAC member and Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam accusing Joshi of "playing politics".
"Clearly the chairman and the BJP are bent upon making the committee political, partisan and motivated. The PAC chairman or the PAC are not oxygen generating medical units to breathe life into a constitutionally dead PAC report", Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia defended PM Manmohan Singh on the 2G issue.
"The Prime Minister is not micro-managing every decision. So while I think 2G clearly became a problem, I don`t think it became a problem because it was mishandled at the Prime Minister`s Office level," he said.
The BJP, however, backed Joshi`s move to re-circulate the report.
"The report was sent to the Speaker and the Speaker said the report has not been adopted. So naturally, if the report has not been adopted by a committee, then it has to be circulated to be adopted. So if it has been circulated, there is nothing wrong in it", said senior BJP leader SS Ahluwalia.
With Agency inputs