2G: War of words intensifies over calling PM before JPC
The BJP leadership on Tuesday demanded a thorough probe into the 2G scam, and backed its senior leader Yashwant Sinha`s decision to call Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).
New Delhi: The BJP leadership on Tuesday demanded a thorough probe into the 2G spectrum scam, and backed its senior leader Yashwant Sinha`s decision to call Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).
"The Joint Parliamentary Committee is a constitutional body. It is investigating a very important and a serious issue. All those should be called on the basis of whose evidence or information, this scam can be unearthed. Yashwant Sinha, who is also a member of the JPC, has very aptly said that the Prime Minister should appear before the JPC," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
"The JPC has got this right. Do you want the JPC to run like your Congress Party office?" BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked, while lashing out at the ruling Congress Party for raising objections.
The reaction from the BJP came shortly after JPC chairman PC Chacko hit out at Sinha and dubbed his letter to PM Dr Manmohan Singh as political stunt and against norms.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi earlier in the day said the JPC is capable of taking its own decisions.
"What has the Prime Minister got to do with the JPC?" he asked.
Sinha has written a letter to the Prime Minister, asking him to appear before the JPC probing the 2G spectrum scam.
Sinha, who is also a member of the JPC, citing former Telecom Minister A Raja``s communication in his letter has asked Dr. Manmohan Singh to appear before the committee to clear his name following allegations levelled against him.
In his letter, Sinha said any hesitation on the part of the Prime Minister to appear before the JPC will prove that he has something to hide.
Sinha also pointed out that when Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was examining the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G scam, the Prime Minister had publicly offered to appear before it to enable the committee to reach the "right conclusions".
"I think it is in your own personal interest to appear before the JPC and clear your name. You may also suggest to the Finance Minister to make a similar offer," he wrote.
Sinha also asked Dr. Singh to request JPC Chairman PC Chacko to call Raja as a witness before the committee.
Sinha had earlier lashed out at Chacko for not inviting A. Raja to depose before it in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, saying it`s a very serious issue.
Sinha alleged that the parliamentary panel is being used to conceal truth in the 2G scam.
"It`s important for A. Raja who is a crucial witness to appear and he is also offering, himself offering to appear before the JPC. For some strange reason, our chairman P C Chacko is neither calling a meeting of the JPC nor is inviting Raja to appear as a witness. There is something seriously wrong," said Sinha.
"I think the JPC is being used now to conceal the truth rather than expose the truth. It`s a very very serious issue. I therefore, propose to write to the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) as well as to the Lok Sabha speaker to put pressure on Chacko to allow Raja to appear before the JPC," he added.
Sinha, who is also a member of the JPC, along with Left members of the Committee has been backing the former Telecom Minister`s plea to depose before the panel.
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.
With Agency inputs