JPC could unravel role of powerbrokers: Jaitley

Niira Radia tapes indicate that the health of every institution is at stake, Arun Jaitley said.

Updated: Jan 09, 2011, 15:39 PM IST

New Delhi: The leaked Niira Radia tapes indicated that the health of every institution is at stake and only a JPC probe could unravel the various facets of 2G scam, including the “role of power brokers” in allocation of Telecom portfolio, BJP leader Arun Jaitley has said.

Admitting for the first time that he had an “element of regret” over wash out of the Winter Session of Parliament over the JPC demand, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said, “But then, look at the way public opinion, media, Parliament, has today accepted that there is a huge case of corruption as far as India is concerned.”

“Why was there insistence to give this (Telecom) portfolio to just one person within one party? What is the role of power brokers within the entire system in deciding all this? How was this policy framed? How was this loss caused?” he told a news channel in an interview.

Impressing upon the need for the Joint Parliamentary Committee probe, he said, “If those (Niira Radia) tapes, to media, to judges to the political system, to government formation are considered, the health of every institution is at stake.... Who else but the JPC can investigate all this?” Asked if the JPC demand was justified at the cost of paralysing the Parliament for 23 days, the Opposition leader said that the larger gain has been much more as the country has been made to realise that corruption in high places is a key issue.

Jaitley disagreed that it was merely because of the CAG report that the matter had attained focus and said, “All these facts stated in the CAG report are a repetition of what we have been raising and the country was not accepting it till the Parliamentary protests took place after the CAG report.”

“The CAG report merely endorses what we have been saying one and half years ago.” He claimed that the BJP had got ample public support owing to its relentless campaign in and outside Parliament and added that the larger gains were that the entire public opinion has swung against the government for not acting on an issue of corruption.

He said, “If we had not obstructed Parliament Mr (A) Raja would still have been a minister, CBI would not have acted the way it did. We have put the entire process into motion.”

He also blamed the media for not taking the 2G issue seriously when the BJP had raised the issue one-and-half years ago. “They don’t merely need a CAG report, these facts were in public domain even before that date.”

To a question if BJP was taking a high moral ground on the JPC issue, when in Karnataka its Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa faced serious allegations of corruption, he said, “There is no CAG report against him.”

On the Lokayukta in Karnataka terming as unethical and improper the government’s move to order a judicial inquiry into land controversies, Jaitley said the matter was in the High Court and he would not discuss it further.