With the prime minister rejecting his demand for appearing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha has alleged that Manmohan Singh gained "cheap publicity" by announcing at the Congress conclave that he was ready to appear before the Public Accounts Committee when he did not intend to do so.
"To gain cheap publicity at that time, the prime minister made this offer at the Congress conclave at Burari that he was ready to depose before the PAC and is now hesitating to appear before the JPC," Sinha told reporters.
The BJP leader, who is a member of the JPC, said he was "surprised and disappointed" at Singh's refusal to appear before the JPC.
"I told the prime minister that I am finally surprised and disappointed with his response" of not deposing before the JPC, he said.
Sinha said when the PAC was looking into 2G, the PM had made a "grand offer" that he was ready to appear before it.
"Then also the same rule applied that whomsoever the PAC wanted to call, it can call. Then why did you make an offer? And, if that offer was right then your today's offer of not deposing before the JPC is wrong. Both cannot be wrong. The prime minister's one stand is wrong," he said.
Sinha, who had earlier written to the PM asking that he should present himself before the Joint Parliamentary Committee, again wrote back to Dr Singh in response to his reply.
The PM had replied to Sinha asserting that he and the government had nothing to hide, that all documents had been placed before the JPC and that it was up to the JPC or its chairman on whom to call or not for appearing before it.
"Of course, it is for the JPC to decide whether you appear as a witness or not, but the same principle applied to the PAC when you made a grand offer publicly to appear before it. If you were right in making that offer, how can you not be wrong in not making that offer to the JPC?"
He also took on the prime minister that all documents have been furnished to the JPC and he is not hiding anything, saying, "It is not that the government had nothing to hide and they made available all the documents. The JPC had to demand and literally snatch those documents from the government. The government shared them with the JPC only reluctantly.”