Clean chit to PM farce, says Jaitley

Clean chit to PM farce, says Jaitley

Report a scar on Indian parliamentary democracy

The BJP on Friday took strong exception to the clean chit given by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum allocation scam and accused the Congress of using the parliamentary panel to subvert the truth.

Speaking to reporters after releasing the party’s manifesto for the upcoming polls in Karnataka, BJP leader Arun Jaitley alleged that former telecom minister A Raja’s correspondence with the Prime Minister made it clear that Singh and the then finance minister (P Chidambaram) were fully aware of what was happening.

“If the JPC finds that they were innocent, all I can tell you is this JPC report will meet the same fate as that of the JCP report on the Bofors issue. Its credibility will probably be worse than earlier JPC reports. It is a scar on Indian parliamentary democracy,” he stated on the draft JPC findings.

Earlier in New Delhi, Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) chairman P C Chacko defended the draft report on the 2G scam, claiming that it was based on facts.

“After a hard work of one-and-a-half years, I have made a draft report. It is not a biased report and is based on facts and written documents. I hope it is acceptable to all members of the JPC,” Chacko told reporters. Declining to comment on the contents of the report, Chacko said: “We are meeting for a detailed discussion on April 25 when the draft will probably be adopted.”

The committee is learnt to have blamed former telecom minister A Raja for the discrepancies in spectrum allocation. It gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Volleying questions on why Raja was not given an opportunity to place his views before the committee in person, Chacko said the former minister had submitted a 13-page note that was taken on record and circulated among the members.

Jaitley said the Congress was so enthusiastic that it leaked the draft report to the media even before the panel members could get it. The government will be seriously pulled up for the breach of previllage, he warned.

Jaitley said history has repeated itself, once as a tragedy and again as a farce. This is the second time in history that the Congress and the UPA, which is neck deep in corruption, had subverted the truth using the JPC mechanism.

Recalling the Bofors scam, he said a JPC under late B Shankaranand had come out with a fictional report saying the bribes in the deal were actually winding up charges because middlemen and agents were asked to wind up their business.

Jaitley sought to down play the discordant notes between the BJP and its NDA partner the JD(U) on the issue of projecting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, saying that there was no controversy on it and the BJP wants to gain allies, not sacrifice any.

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