Chacko to talk to JPC members before decision on Raja

Chacko to talk to JPC members before decision on Raja

He wants to table the report on 2G scam in Parliament by March end

With former telecom minister A Raja expressing his willingness to appear before the Joint Parliament Committee probing the 2G scam, panel Chairman P C Chacko on Sunday said he would take a final decision after consulting other members of the committee.

Chacko, who wants to table the report on 2G scam in Parliament by March end, is likely to meet all the members individually to take their view on calling Raja.

The former telecom minister has expressed willingness to appear before the panel and DMK members in JPC T R Baalu and T Siva have been pressing Chacko to call Raja as a witness. Congress members in the panel, however, are against calling Raja as a witness as his deposition could be used by opposition members, including BJP and the Left, in cornering the government.

On Friday, Raja had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Chacko making a strong pitch to appear before the JPC as a witness claiming that he has been “condemned unheard”.

The DMK members also demanded calling Attorney General G E Vahanvati again before the panel after he told JPC earlier this month that the controversial press note regarding 2G licences was changed at the last minute by Raja in 2008 with a different pen. Vahanvati was then the solicitor general, when Raja allotted the spectrum.

Chacko is apparently against calling Raja as a witness. He had earlier told members that as an accused Raja has legal protection and cannot make fresh revelations before any committee. Therefore, there was no point in calling Raja.

Raja has maintained that he had kept the Prime Minister’s Office and others informed about his decisions on 2G licencing issue. 

Separately, DMK spokesman T K S Elangovan told a news agency that the party will back Raja if the issue of his request to appear before the JPC is raised at the UPA Coordination Committee meeting here on Tuesday. “If the Congress raises the issue..., asks us, we have to stand by Raja,” party spokesman T K S Elangovan, MP, said when asked whether the issue could be raised by the DMK, a key constituent of the UPA, at the Coordination Committee meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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