Govt bows to Oppn pressure, announces JPC on 2G scam

PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said his government was committed to root out corruption and announced the setting up of a JPC to probe the 2G scam.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Giving in to the Opposition’s demand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday announced the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Announcing the same in Parliament, Singh said, “In a democracy, we need to work in collaboration, not confrontation.”

“The precious Winter Session was lost… the country can ill afford such a situation. In doing this we all do disservice to those who have elected us,” the PM told the Lok Sabha.

He assured the House that his government was committed to root out corruption.

“A CBI probe (into the 2G scam) is being supervised by the Supreme Court. The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) is also seized of the matter. (Further) the government is fully cooperating,” Singh said.

“The government believed as all active steps were being taken, we could convince the Opposition (to allow Parliament to function). But we couldn’t achieve the same,” the PM said, adding “we can’t afford such a situation in the crucial Budget Session so the government agrees to formation of a JPC in 2G scam”.

The PM then requested the Speaker of Lok Sabha to set in motion the process to set up the JPC. He added that a formal motion for constituting the JPC will be moved in the House soon.

The PM announced the move in a statement made soon after he introduced new ministers in his Cabinet.

Responding to the announcement, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj of BJP thanked the PM and said it is “not a question of victory or defeat on JPC”.

She further urged all parties to allow the functioning of Parliament.

Other Opposition parties also welcomed the setting up of JPC.

However, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
Arun Jaitley said he was "disappointed" over the contents of
the Prime Minister`s statement as it showed the government had
done everything and the JPC was formed only because Parliament
was paralysed.

"The issue could have been resolved in a more gracious
manner," he said.

Left parties attacked the Prime Minister for "virtually
justifying" that a JPC inquiry into the 2G spectrum scam was
not required but was accepted by the government only to pacify
the opposition.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, "If this wisdom had
been displayed earlier, we would have saved the Winter Session
(that was washed out due to protests over demand for a JPC
probe)."

Meanwhile, hectic efforts are on to finalise the
composition of the JPC which is likely to be 21-member strong.

The government had last week agreed to the demand of the Opposition to form the JPC to investigate the 2G spectrum scam about which the government auditors had said the presumptive loss was worth Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

The whole of the Winter Session of Parliament was lost due to the Opposition demand for a JPC probe into the 2G scam and the government not agreeing to it then.

With PTI inputs