The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance on Saturday demanded to know how the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s draft report on 2G spectrum allocation issue had exonerated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram without examining them and appealed to all members of the committee to reject the document.
The NDA top brass held a meeting at the residence of senior leader L K Advani to discuss the strategy for Parliament's budget session which is resuming on Monday. There were ample indications that the opposition will raise a storm over a slew of issues, including the JPC draft report on 2G spectrum, coal mines allocation scam and alleged misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The NDA is miffed at the contents of the leaked JPC report, especially the clean chit given to Dr Singh and Chidambaram. It also expressed resentment over A Raja, former telecom minister and the main accused in 2G scam, not being called by the JPC, though he had offered to depose before it.
"It is Parliament, the people and the country that are betrayed through such acts of dishonesty. The NDA, therefore, appeals to all the members of JPC to reject this report in toto," the opposition alliance said.
The prime minister came in for a strong attack from the opposition parties, which accused him of being responsible for the problems plaguing the country.
"Timidity, uncertainty, loss of direction and unmatched absence of leadership characterises the conduct of the present prime minister who sits atop the most corrupt government since independence, behaving as if he sees nothing, hears nothing and thus supinely does nothing despite the loud ringing of the alarm bell of mounting chaos," a statement issued by the NDA alleged.
Advani told reporters that the coal mine scam and reports about the government vetting the CBI report on it -- which was to be submitted to the Supreme Court -- in a bid to "dilute" it will figure on the first day of Parliament after the recess on April 22.
The NDA also condemned the naming of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in the JPC draft report for "knowingly" causing losses to the exchequer in 2G allocation.
"The NDA collectively and with one voice totally condemns the manner in which the JPC draft, as per accounts, is charging the former prime minister and the present convener of NDA, Shri A B Vajpayee, with knowingly having caused losses to the exchequer. This is utterly and absolutely condemnable. Such conclusions in the draft report of JPC, whilst simultaneously clearing Dr Manmohan Singh’s name, through a variety of sleights of hand, is an act of unmatched perfidy," the statement issued by the NDA said.
Advani said the NDA expressed "outrage" at the United Progressive Alliance government's attitude in naming Vajpayee and some of his former cabinet colleagues, especially when he has been unwell for some time now.
"A formal report is brought up and adverse comments are made out against him. It is shocking. It violates all norms of even decency," Advani said.
In its five-point poser to the government, the NDA said, "Who actually has drafted this purported report of the JPC-- the chairman or some proxy of the UPA."
On the JPC draft report accusing Raja of misleading the prime minister, the NDA said "How can a minister of the cabinet mislead the prime minister?"
The NDA also expressed its mounting concern at the state of the nation under the "continuing misdeeds" of the "diarchal" leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, "resulting in drift, gross maladministration and rampant corruption" in the present UPA regime.
"Our borders, both in the west and in the east, are breached with impunity. Our finance minister abjectly circles the globe seeking investments as if India were a mendicant. Our defence minister fails totally to lead his ministry, riddled as it is by corruption," the NDA said.
Advani said the issue of ministerial interference in the CBI report on coal-gate case would also be raised in both Houses of Parliament on Monday when the budget session resumes.
"As if this was not enough, in gross violation of the Supreme Court directive, a draft on the 2G scandal has been circulated, but first to select journalists and only thereafter to committee members of the JPC. This is tantamount to relegating the Parliament's position to an irrelevancy, also violating the confidentiality of its reports," the NDA statement said.
Advani said the NDA will also raise in Parliament the issue of security of women and the increasing incidents of sexual crimes in the national capital.
"In Delhi, the capital city, the government sits idly by as unspeakable crimes of the most heinous kind get repeated with sickening frequency. When, we ask, will this end," the statement said.
On the JPC draft report, the BJP leader said the party members in JPC will attend the April 25 meeting of the panel and oppose it when the Committee meets to finalise its report.
"This draft report has shocked us. We will participate in the meeting and will oppose it," Advani said, adding, "The party did not allow our members to quit the JPC."
He said the BJP will have to ascertain its strategy on extending the support to the government in passing key legislations in Parliament.