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War of words in JPC over PM

The BJP on Tuesday reiterated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should depose before the JPC “to clear his stand” in the wake of charges levelled by A Raja, prime accused in the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam.

Published: 03rd April 2013 07:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2013 10:07 AM   |  A+A-

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The BJP on Tuesday reiterated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should depose before the JPC “to clear his stand” in the wake of charges levelled by A Raja, prime accused in the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday wrote to the PM asking him to depose before the panel.

Countering Congress charge that the “BJP is playing a political stunt by asking the PM to appear before the JPC”, the BJP alleged that the Centre is making efforts to stonewall Parliamentary committees.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram should appear before the JPC. Raja, who was the Telecom Minister when the 2G spectrum scam came to light, should also face the panel as per a request made by him,” said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.

The BJP argued that since Raja has alleged that the PM and FM were privy to the decisions taken, all three of them should clear the air in front of the JPC. “Also, in the light of Attorney General G Vahanvati saying that Raja interpolated a sentence in the 2G file after his having cleared, it raises several questions and that need to be cleared,” Sitharaman added.

Earlier, JPC Chairman P C Chacko hit out at Sinha for writing to the PM asking him to appear before the panel. He dubbed the action as a “political stunt” and against the established “norms”.

“How can a member of the JPC write a letter to the Prime Minister? It is for the committee to take a decision. It is only a political stunt and against the norms of Parliamentary procedure,” Chacko said.

He said Sinha’s letter has “no relevance” as decisions, including calling a minister, have to be taken by the committee and “not individuals.” The JPC chief also said that Sinha, a member of the JPC, cannot cite the example of the Prime Minister’s willingness to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to call him before the JPC.



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