New Delhi: Congress on Monday downplayed reports
of disagreement between the Prime Minister and the Finance
Minister over Manmohan Singh`s offer to appear before the PAC
looking into the 2G Spectrum issue saying Pranab Mukherjee was
only underlining the legal position.
"The Finance Minister has himself clarified his statement.
...Mukherjee was only underlining the legal position that it
was not binding on the Prime Minister to appear before the
"In fact he was explaining and underlining what Prime
Minister himself has conveyed...Prime Minister`s statement was
also the same that there was no legal binding on him," party
spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at the AICC
He said there was no legal binding on the Prime Minister
to appear before PAC. He had voluntarily made this offer on
moral grounds as he was wanted Opposition`s cooperation.
Singhvi`s remarks came in response to a volley of
questions a day after Mukherjee yesterday caused a flutter in
political circles by openly disagreeing with Singh`s offer to
appear before the PAC saying the decision had been taken
"without consulting us".
The Finance Minister, who is also Leader of the Lok Sabha,
said the Prime Minister was accountable to the Lok Sabha and
"not to any committee".
"The Prime Minister`s offer to appear before the PAC was a
decision taken by him without consulting us. If he had
discussed it with me I would have advised him not to offer to
appear before the PAC," Mukherjee had told a special meeting
of the West Bengal PCC in Kolkata.
"Constitutionally, the Prime Minister is accountable to
the Lok Sabha and not to any committee," Mukherjee said on
Singh`s letter to PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi on December
27 offering to appear before the panel.
As news channels ran reports on his comments, Mukherjee in
the evening sought to clarify the position, denying any
difference with the Prime Minister.