BJP slams JPC report on 2G spectrum allocation
Terming the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe report on 2G spectrum allocations as lacking credibility with even the dissent note having been edited, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of subverting institutions to cover up corruption.
The party also said JPC chairman P.C. Chacko behaved like an “agent and spokesperson of the Congress”.
“Removing unparliamentary words does not mean the major portions of the dissent note will be removed. Chacko needs to learn basic parliamentary procedures,” said BJP leader and deputy leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the Congress has not learnt any lessons from its recent loss in the assembly polls in four states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
“The conduct of the Congress party and the UPA government makes it clear they have failed to learn lessons from the results of the assembly elections. The strategy is to first indulge in acts of corruption and then subvert constitutional institutions in order to cover them up,” he said in a post on Facebook.
The JPC report was tabled in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday, while it was tabled in the Lok Sabha Monday.
Jaitley also expressed his disappointment at the presiding officer not giving a ruling on his contention that Chacko committed a breach of privilege by changing the substance of the dissent note given to him by opposition members on the panel.
He also alleged that the note of dissent was edited.
“Today (Tuesday), I raised an issue in the Rajya Sabha, whether the chairman of the committee can only edit superfluous or unparliamentary references made in a note of dissent or can he change the substance of the dissent note that was submitted? By doing so, the chairman has committed a breach of privilege. I invited a ruling from the chair on this issue. Regrettably no ruling came,” Jaitley said.
“The only consolation I have is the government stands exposed. The emperor is without clothes. Even a parliamentary cover up through a JPC will not save it of the embarrassment,” the BJP leader added.
Jaitley said parliament appointed a JPC to examine the matter of allocation and pricing of telecom spectrum, and the report was approved by a slender majority.
He said the main issues the JPC had to examine were whether spectrum allocated in 2008 could be given at the 2001 price, if goalposts could be shifted in procedure for allocation and if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were in the know of and privy to the decisions taken by the then communications minister A. Raja.
“The majority report (of JPC) bypasses most of these issues. On the contrary, it has devoted large sections of the report to blame the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government. Obviously, the report will carry no credibility,” he maintained.
He said the JPC, which went into the Bofors case, invented a theory that commissions paid to the middlemen were not kickbacks but winding-up charges, while the parliamentary panel probing the cash-for-vote scam blamed the opposition MPs but the trial court held they were whistleblowers and committed no offence.
“If we want that the dignity of the parliamentary institutions be maintained, we must ensure the truth surfaces and not be covered up,” he said.
–Indo-Asian News Service