Kolkata, Jan 2: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Sunday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had declared, without consulting anyone else, that he was prepared to appear before parliament’s Public Accounts Committee which is looking into the 2G spectrum issue.
Mukherjee told a meeting of Congress functionaries here that had Manmohan Singh consulted him before making the statement on Dec 20, he would have advised him against it because the prime minister is accountable to the entire Lok Sabha, not to any part of it.
“The prime minister declared this on his own, without consulting any of us. However, had he consulted us, I would have advised him on the contrary. Because I am conservative”.
“I believe in following parliamentary norms. Why don’t ministers appear before such parliamentary committees? The reason is very simple. Because a minister is accountable to the Lok Sabha, (or in the state) to the assembly.
“In the Lok Sabha, he is accountable to 543 members… He has become minister because out of 543 Lok Sabha members, at least 272 members support his party, they support the prime minister. His accountability is to the entire house, not a part of the house,” said Mukherjee.
Last month, the prime minister said he was making an “unprecedented” offer to appear before the PAC which is going into the scam, based on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the issue.
However, the prime minister’s offer has not cut much ice with the Bharatiya Janata Party – which, along with the left parties – is demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation. –(IANS)