New Delhi: The Congress and its allies Tuesday thwarted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi’s attempt to table before the reconstituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) the rejected report of the previous panel that had hinted at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s role in the alleged 2G scam.
Joshi, who heads the panel that oversees the government’s spending, tried to table the report at a meeting of the new committee but the Congress members, led by Jayanti Natarajan, opposed this on the ground that a report that had been rejected would have to be redrafted before it could be presented again, sources said.
The meeting, which started at 11.30 a.m., was still underway at 2 p.m. and Joshi was still trying to bring consensus among the members for the report that was rejected by the earlier panel, whose term expired April 30.
The Congress members of the newly-formed panel are also arguing that the 2G scam was already being probed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) and there was no need for the PAC to get into it.
Joshi had drafted the report and hurriedly submitted it to Speaker Meira Kumar’s office on April 30 despite it being rejected by a majority of PAC members during a stormy meeting two days earlier.
Meira Kumar returned the draft report, saying it had not been adopted with a majority by the panel.
The report was sharply critical of Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram, who was the finance minister in 2007-08 when alleged irregularities were commited in allotting licenses to use scarce radio waves for high-end mobile phone services.
Jailed former IT and communication minister A Raja is accused of selling the licenses at throwaway prices than at market rates, causing the nation huge financial losses – presumptively calculated by the government auditor at Rs.1.76 lakh crore.