Opposition unimpressed by PM`s offer, sticks to JPC demand

The Opposition on Monday reiterated its demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scandal despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing his willingness to appear before Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee.

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010, 13:16 PM IST

New Delhi: The Opposition on Monday reiterated its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scandal despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing his willingness to appear before Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

"When he is ready to come and answer any question before PAC... Why not JPC? JPC is constitutional body. He knows PAC`s role will be limited to a CAG report. What about other issues? Everybody wants a clear and transparent investigation and punishment to the guilty. That`s possible through JPC only," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Javadekar said the JPC "is a legitimate demand" of the Opposition. "We will continue demanding it. It is a Parliamentary instrument. Why are you not ready for the JPC? It can investigate the issues outside the CAG report."

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja also said the Opposition will pursue its demand for the JPC probe into the telephony spectrum allocation of 2008, an issue that led to Parliament`s Winter Session being washed out to anti-government protest by MPs.

"PM has again ruled out any constitution of JPC. I don`t understand why. Why is he making it such a contentious issue? The JPC will go into the depth of this scam. I don`t think PAC can be better than JPC," Raja said.

Manmohan Singh in his speech at the Congress` 83rd plenary said he was ready to appear before the PAC investigating the telecom scam. He ruled out any formation of a JPC.

"I sincerely believe that like Caesar`s wife, the prime minister should be above suspicion. And for this reason, I am prepared to appear before the Public Accounts Committee even though there is no precedent to that effect," he said.

IANS