BJP, Congress spar at JPC meet on 2G scam

BJP, Congress spar at JPC meet on 2G scam

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) meeting on 2G spectrum scam on Tuesday lapsed into heated exchanges between Congress and BJP members when the latter demanded summoning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and top PMO officials for grilling.

As serious differences persisted, the meeting remained inconclusive. Panel Chairman P C Chacko is likely to table an “exhaustive” list of witnesses in the next meeting for members to decide whom to call.

Trouble started as soon as Chacko told the members that the Committee should start writing its report so that the draft could be discussed from September, sources said.
While agreeing to Chacko's suggestion, BJP members demanded that some key persons, including prime accused and former Telecom Minister A Raja, Home Minister P Chidam­baram, Prime Minister's Advisor T K A Nair and PM's Princi­pal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee, be summoned before the meeting, the sources said.

J P Agarwal (Congress) is learnt to have charged the BJP with  trying to prolong the panel’s proceedings beyond the December 2012 deadline in order to use 2G scam as an electoral issue. Two deadlines had already lapsed, he said.

As the war of words continued, Yashwant Sinha (BJP) pressed for summoning more witnesses before finalising the draft. He demanded summoning the Prime Minister and top PMO officials, sources said.

The BJP members also wa­nted former Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, RBI governor D Subbarao and Attorney General G E Vahanvati to be summoned.

In retaliation, Congress me­mbers, including Manish Te­w­ari, wanted Telecom Ministers of NDA government like Sushma Swaraj, Jagmohan and Ar­un Shourie to be summoned. 

Witness offer

Congress members also wanted Brajesh Mishra, principal secretary to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to appear as  the Telecom portfolio was with the PM then.

Some Congress members suggested calling N K Singh, who was in the PMO during NDA rule.

Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh, who held the Finance portfolio in NDA regime, offered to exit from the panel and depose before it as witnesses.

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