BJP unease as Joshi bats for PAC on 2G

The BJP did not appear to be enthused about comments of its leader Joshi, who as Chairman of the PAC appears to be charting a course that is at variance with it.

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2010, 20:41 PM IST

New Delhi: The unease in BJP over its leader Murli Manohar Joshi pressing ahead with the PAC probe into the 2G scam came into open on Tuesday with the party strongly saying that only a JPC can ensure accountability and governance.

It also dismissed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s offer to appear before Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) contending it has no no meaning that the issue was not just about accounts but about accountability.

The BJP did not appear to be enthused about the comments of its leader Joshi, who as Chairman of the PAC appears to be charting a course that is at variance with it, that the PAC is an independent body that can go beyond what the Comptroller and Auditor General has reported on the spectrum allocation scam.
A day after Joshi made his views clear at a press conference, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj went on Twitter to say that "(The) scope of PAC is totally different from that of JPC. While PAC deals with accounts, JPC deals with accountability and governance."

The party also fielded its spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy to reiterate that the BJP would not settle for anything less than a JPC probe into 2-G issue.

"BJP at its highest level reiterates its stand that to go deep into the 1.76 Lakh Crore scam, nothing less than a JPC probe will do. We want to state categorically that BJP will not accept anything less than a JPC," Rudy told reporters.

Joshi`s comments yesterday that the PAC can go beyond the CAG report on the 2-G Spectrum scam and would look into the Prime Minister`s offer to appear before the panel has put the BJP in a bind.

"The Prime Minister has broken a precedent (by offering to appear before the PAC). We do not want the Prime Minister to break any precedent.... We are not even interested in the Prime Minister breaking a precedent. (But) There is a precedent of a JPC and it should be followed," Rudy said.
In what appeared to be a counter to Joshi`s contentions about powers of a PAC, Rudy insisted that the body could only look into the accounts.

"We are not talking just about accounts but about accountability and governance," Rudy said.

When Rudy was asked about Joshi and the PAC being proactive which seemed to puncture the BJP and opposition demand for a JPC, he said, "The PAC Chairman is aware of his duties....He is doing his job. He has never said there is no need for a JPC."

On the Prime Minister`s offer, Swaraj said "under the Lok Sabha rules PAC cannot call a minister, much less the Prime Minister. (The) Prime Minister`s offer, therefore, has no meaning."

PTI

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