Charging the Congress leadership with being “reluctant” to hold a “fair probe” into the 2G spectrum scam, Opposition members in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the “entire ruckus” witnessed in the committee meeting on Thursday was “managed” by the Congress top brass.
Some of the Opposition members, it was learnt, will be meeting PAC chairman M.M. Joshi on Friday to discuss the “fate” of the draft report. Sources disclosed these members will also be meeting the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to complaint against the ruling coalition members who “misbehaved” with the PAC chairman and “dishonoured” the parliamentary committee.
The senior BJP leader and one of the PAC members, Mr Kalraj Mishra, said, “Four ministers — Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram, Pawan Bansal and V. Narayanasamy — were present throughout the day in Parliament. They were giving directions to their party colleagues in the committee not to allow any discussion on the draft report or even proceedings to begin. Despite Dr Joshi requesting the ruling coalition members to listen to his point on their queries, these members wanted to scuttle the meeting at any cost.”
Dr Joshi had to face stiff opposition from Congress and DMK members in the committee meeting. These members alleged that Dr Joshi was trying to “destabilise the government” with the leaked draft report which was “outsourced”.
The draft report had criticised Prime Minister Office (PMO) as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “desire” to keep the PMO at “arm’s length” on the 2G spectrum allocation issue.
Another Public Accounts Committee member and BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab said whatever happened in the meeting was “unfortunate” and a clear signal that the ruling coalition members have no respect for parliamentary norms and the Public Accounts Committee.
Criticising the ruling coalition members who “gave a big blow to the democratic norms as well as to the parliamentary functioning,” BJP leader and PAC member Raman Deka said “the report (draft report) has mentioned what was submitted to the PAC by people it had summoned and what it got from departments concerned, including the PMO. Till April 5, no one was questioning whether the report should be tabled or not. And suddenly, when the term of this committee was nearing its end, ruling coalition members decided that they don’t want this report. Something must have happened in the intervening period.”
He also alleged that Thursday’s proceedings gave clear indications that the “drama” was orchestrated by the Congress leadership. Asian Age