Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has dismissed allegations made by former auditor R P Singh that he tried to influence the 2G report.
Taking Singh head on, Joshi said that he would quit PAC if Singh’s charges were proved right. “I never influenced anybody on the outcome of the 2G report. If R P Singh has signed the report, he should own it.”
The BJP too rallied behind Joshi, calling Singh a ‘pawn’. “Singh’s allegations on the 2G report are an attempt to malign the CAG and PAC by vested interests. This attack is to end the discussion on corruption, because there is an attempt to prove the Rs 1.76 lakh crore figure wrong,” Joshi said.
Singh had questioned the CAG’s figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. “After completing the audit of the Ministry of Telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering every aspect. My report did not contain any loss figure.”
Joshi alleged that Singh had never raised the issue when he had appeared before the PAC to explain the loss caused by the spectrum allocation. Singh had made a similar statement after his retirement. “When questioned, he denied giving any interview. He was questioned on the issue by the Joint Parliamentary Committee as well but he failed to prove anything.”
Joshi said Singh had initially given a power point presentation to the PAC on the spectrum allocation but never complained about being forced to sign the report. The PAC chairman said it was impossible to write the report under pressure and Singh himself had written it. “It is an attempt by the government to cover up corruption by defaming the PAC and CAG.” The PAC chairman termed Singh’s claims that CAG officials had met him at his residence to help him prepare the PAC’s report on 2G spectrum allocation as baseless. Joshi demanded an apology from Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi for her remarks against his party on the CAG’s 2G report. “I think the Congress, and not the BJP, has been exposed. Those who advised Sonia stand exposed too. Singh had raised the issue earlier. Why did she not speak out then.”
On the Congress’ demand for a probe into the allegations, Joshi said: “The Congress can demand any absurd thing. It is their last attempt to cover up their misdeeds.”