Congress, BJP spat over CAG continues

The slugfest between the Congress and the BJP over the contentious CAG report on 2G spectrum auction continued on Saturday, with the rivals locking horns over the veracity of the presumptive loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore as stated in the report.

CAG official R P Singh’s claim that the 2010 audit report was influenced by senior BJP leader M M Joshi, gave Congress leaders enough ammunition to fire at the BJP, even as the UPA government struggled to grapple with the logjam in Parliament over FDI in retail.“The nation needs to know how Rs 2,645 crore of loss in the 2G spectrum allocation turned into a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. It can happen only if the CAG is prepared to debate the entire 2G report on a public platform,” Union minister Manish Tewari said in Chandigarh.

He also charged Joshi, who is the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, with forcing the national auditor to come out with the loss figures.“The BJP condemns the way the Congress is denigrating institutions. It is surprising, in fact shocking, that even ministers from the Union Cabinet question and demoralise institutions,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here, in retaliation to Tewari’s charges.

She also wondered if the Prime Minister  approved of such criticism of constitutional bodies by his Cabinet colleagues. Sitharaman said she hoped that Congress president Sonia Gandhi will now break her silence and comment on how the government, led by her party, will handle corruption when the UPA has committed itself to instituting the Lokpal.

“How she is going to have institutions function if this is the way her party ministers are coming out to undermine them?” the BJP leader wondered, adding that the Opposition will like to hear Gandhi speak on “coal scam, CWG and Robert Vadra.”Sitharaman sought to know whether the Congress strategy was to destabilise constitutional bodies like the CAG and the PAC, and create confusion among the public.

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