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2G Spectrum Scam:CONSTITUE JPC SOON,by Mithun Dey,27 December 2010 Print E-mail

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New Delhi, 27 December 2010

2G Spectrum Scam _


By Mithun Dey


As the BJP remains adamant over a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the  controversial 2G spectrum scam, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's “personal decision” to voluntarily appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) does not signify that the Government would press for it.


Said a Congress spokesperson, “It is a personal sentiment and he is under no official compulsion to appear. There in no precedent in regard to the Prime Minister appearing before the PAC nor is this mentioned in the rules, yet Manmohan Singh’s decision is to make clear to the people that he has nothing to hide. The BJP-led Opposition decision of stalling Parliament’s winter session was just an attention-grabber.”


Questionably, was the Prime Minister offer to appear before the PAC in sync with the Party's stand? Was the Opposition's demand for a JPC merely to denigrate the institution of the Prime Minister?

Recall, after Manmohan Singh's speech at the Congress plenary last weekend, Congress General Secretary called it a "masterstroke" and applauded the Prime Minister for his surprising and valiant offer. However, the fact is that Manmohan Singh not only steered clear of questions on whether he was being "tardily brave."

Arguably, couldn’t the Prime Minister have offered to appear before the PAC earlier thereby saving the session to be ‘aborted?’ Shockingly, thanks to the controversy, over Rs 46,000 crore of supplementary demands were voted on amidst pandemonium in the Lok Sabha. Never mind, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal averment, “The Opposition’s demand is an infringement of the system… it is immoral ….fairly criminal.”  


But the BJP outrightly rejected the Prime Minister’s offer. At a NDA rally in the Union Capital Delhi on 22 December, leaders underscored that “Singh cannot rinse his hands off the corruption that has taken place”. The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley went a step further, "The Prime Minister should immediately constitute a JPC, answer our questions and if he cannot answer then he should resign on moral grounds”.


This is not all. The NDA convener Sharad Yadav is busy trying to rope in other non-NDA Parties on the issue. On the same lines as the Bharat Bandh against price rise held on 5 July last. Indeed, speaker after speaker emphasized the NDA’s plans to carry out a nation-wide campaign against corruption for some months.  Clearly, the 2G scam has become a rallying point to band together a united Opposition.


The Congress retaliated by asserting that "champs of corruption are sermonizing to those who have reiterated their resolve to combat on corruption.” What is the BJP’s stand on its corrupt Government in Karnataka? What does it have to say about its Chief Minister Yeddyurappa accused of favouring his kith and kin in the land scam, it queried.


In addition, the Left and other non-NDA Parties too have assailed the Saffron Sangh over its double standards on corruption by abstaining to explore the matter against the Karnataka Chief Minister.         


What next? With the two national Parties, Congress and BJP, both tom-tomming their respective positions on corruption the battle lines are drawn. Asserted Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, “The Government is accountable for blocking Parliament. It is because of the UPA’s obdurately over the JPC issue which led to Parliament being paralyzed.”   

Importantly, the Government has a moral duty to ensure that the scourge of corruption is eradicated from the nation. The Karnataka scam and the non-constitution of JPC by the BJP ought not to be exploited as a cover by the Government to foil all talk of setting up a JPC. Both Parties should endeavour to make formation of a JPC as a central part of Constitution.

In view of the firm evidence of Nira Radia's inter-actions with a number of politicians on the 2G scam along-with the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report of the loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer; setting up of the JPC is crucial to unravel India’s biggest heist.

Undeniably, the Congress should desist from its obstinate stand and constitute a JPC on the Rs 1.76 lakh crore 2G scam. Simultaneously, the Also, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too should re-think his decision to appear before the Committee. Or else the UPA will have a lot to answer on corruption in the forthcoming State Assembly elections. ---- INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)









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