BJP threat to quit JPC on 2G scam

BJP threat to quit JPC on 2G scam

The BJP on Tuesday threatened to quit the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G spectrum scam after staging a walkout from the panel meeting again, accusing the chairman of being a “dictator” who is getting directions to behave in a “partial” manner.

 BJP members of the JPC staged a walkout again from the meeting as they did on August 22 seeking the presence of Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for questioning on the 2G pricing decision that led to a notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the nation.

On Tuesday, as the meeting started, four of the six BJP members present wanted JPC Chairman P C Chako to resume discussion on finalisation of witnesses’ list, a matter that had provoked a clash last time.

But Chacko rejected the demand on grounds that a presentation by  RBI Governor D Subbarao, who was the finance secretary at the time of the allocation of 2G Spectrum in 2008, was already fixed. Subbarao appeared before the panel and said that the loss was notional and his decisions were in consonance with rules.

The upset BJP members, led by Yashwant Sinha, walked out of the meeting. The BJP will take a final call on quitting the JPC after Thursday’s bandh.

At a press conference, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who is also a member of the panel, said: “I can’t think of any committee where a chairman would behave like this and gag a member in a highly dictatorial manner.”

“This is reminiscent of the Emergency. He did not behave as an impartial chairman. He truly behaved like a spokesperson of the Congress party,” he added.

To counter the charges, Chako, too, addressed media later. Ruling out summoning the prime minister and the finance minister, he said: “This is a BJP agenda to impose elections on the country. It’s a political decision. Those people who demanded to constitute the committee wanted to kill this committee. This is unfortunate”.
He described himself as an “innocent man”.

However, on repeated questions that the BJP could have done more justice by staying on the panel and exposing the UPA government, Sinha said, “We will come out with truth not revealed so far and it would be more stronger than the dissent note we would have written had we stayed on the panel.”

He said the JPC will meet a couple of more times to call witnesses than put a lid on the issue.

The JPC’s next meeting is scheduled for October 3 to question present attorney general G E Vahanvati, who was legal adviser.

Interestingly, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who is also a member of the panel, defended the BJP’s walkout though they have not threatened to resign from the JPC.

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