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BJP attacks PM for orchestrating campaign against Joshi

The BJP charged PM Manmohan Singh with orchestrating a vilification campaign against the PAC Chairman MM Joshi after the parliamentary panel had asked a PMO official and the Attorney General to appear before it for questioning.

Patna: The BJP on Saturday charged Prime
Minister Man Mohan Singh with orchestrating a vilification
campaign against the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman
Murli Manohar Joshi after the parliamentary panel had asked a
PMO official and the Attorney General to appear before it for
questioning in the 2G scam.
"I am afraid to say that the Prime Minister is the
director of the ongoing vilification campaign against Joshi
after he had asked a PMO official and the Attorney General to
appeal before the PAC to explain their role in the 2G scam,"
BJP national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

Singh apparently got rattled after the PAC brought his
office in the ambit of the PAC`s probe in the 2G scam, he
said and held him directly responsible for the smear campaign
against Joshi.

The BJP leader expressed bewilderment at the
government`s attempt to trash the PAC investigation into 2G
scam after leakage of its interim report even as the latter
had extended all cooperation with the parliamentary panel with
the Prime Minister himself offering to appear before it if he
was required to explain anything in the 2G scam.

There was no (no) problem with the PAC probe into the
2G scam when top honchos of the telecom ministry including
Ratan Tata and Anil Ambani deposed for questioning, the
problem started only after the government got to know that the
PMO was being dragged into the scene, he said.

Prasad alleged that the UPA government found faults
with Joshi only after the PAC draft report on 2G scam was
leaked and said that the vicious campaign against the BJP
leader started only after a PMO official and Attorney General
was asked to appear before the panel for explaining.

Prasad also questioned the move by some PAC members to
`elect` the Congress Rajya Sabha MP Saifuddin Soz as the PAC
chairman at a meeting on April 28 and said that the
action was violation of the laid down parliamentary practice
since 1957 that the PAC Chairman has been a Lok Sabha member
and that too from the main opposition party.

The BJP spokesman slammed the union HRD Minister Kapil
Sibal for allegedly using unparliamentary language against
Joshi by describing him as Mr. Doshi, apparently with an
intention to debunk the draft report of the PAC on 2G scam.
Being an educated person and a learned advocate, Sibal
was not expected to use unparliamentary words against a senior
BJP leader like Joshi, Prasad said, adding that the former
launched a verbal attack on the PAC Chairman apparently with
blessings of the Prime Minister and the Congress leadership.

On the SP and the BSP joining forces with the Congress
in isolating Joshi at the PAC meeting on April 27, a day
after the leakage of the draft report, he said that it was a
`coalition of corruption` at the national level.

The BSP and the SP were trying to fool the Uttar
Pradesh people by playing anti-Congress politics in
Lucknow and at the same time did not hesitate to join forces
with the Congress at national level, Prasad said and described
the three parties as `Triveni` (confluence) of corruption.

The SP and BSP leadership needed Congress to bail them
out in the corruption cases in lieu of political support in
time of crisis, the BJP leader said.

On the leakage of the draft report of PAC, Prasad said
that it was possible that the draft may have been leaked by
the Congress members apparently to alert the party leadership
about the outcome of the report so that an action plan could
prepared to scuttle the report.

Stating that the Lok Sabha Speaker was at liberty to
order probe in the leakage of the PAC draft report, the BJP
leader said that the content of the report was more important
than the aspect of leakage.

Prasad also denied the charge that the content of the
PAC draft report may have been outsourced and regretted that
the cynics were raising question marks about the wisdom and
integrity of the parliamentary panel.

On the possible replacement of Joshi as the PAC
Chairman from the BJP, he said that the saffron party will
take an appropriate decision at appropriate time, but added
that whosoever takes over will not toe the `dictation` of the

The BJP spokesman said that his party will launch a
nationwide campaign on the UPA government`s attempts to
scuttle probe into various corruption charges by all means
with the vitriolic attack on the sitting PAC Chairman being
the latest example in which the latter tried to bully the
parliamentary institution to toe its line.


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