2G report on PAC meet's agenda amid political war
The Public Accounts Committee met in New Delhi on Thursday with its chairman Murli Manohar Joshi saying the report on the 2G spectrum scam was on agenda and will be discussed on merit.
"The report will be discussed on merit," Joshi told mediapersons in New Delhi before the meeting.
The attendance at the meeting was almost total with a vote expected on the finalisation of the report.
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Image: PAC chief and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi
Draft report comes down heavily on PMO, Cabinet Secretariat
An all out political war has broken out with the draft PAC report coming down heavily on the Prime Minister's Office, Cabinet Secretariat and faulting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G scam.
Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have hit back demanding Joshi's resignation.
Riled by critical comments against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the ruling coalition accused Joshi, a veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader, of having "malafide intentions" to destabilise the government after he circulated a draft report of the committee which criticised the PMO and Cabinet Secretariat for not taking "corrective action".
Image: PM Dr Singh
BSP, SP support will be crucial
With the strength of the two sides delicately balanced in the 21-member committee, the role of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, which have a member each on the PAC, will be important.
The PAC has seven representatives from the Congress, four from BJP, two each from All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and DMK, and one each from Shiv Sena, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United, SP, BSP and Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Joshi is keen on pushing the report before the term of the current committee ends on Saturday. But the ruling coalition members are expected to stall the report by seeking further discussion and calling more witnesses, including former Telecom Minister A Raja in a bid to prolong the process.
Image: BSP supremo Mayawati
Report also attacks Chidambaram
The draft report also attacked the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram for recommending to the Prime Minister to "treat the matter as closed" instead of taking action against those responsible for loss to the exchequer.
The voluminous report had some unpleasant words for Singh, who had kept his office at "arm's length" in 2G spectrum issue which helped Raja "to execute his unfair, arbitrary and dubious designs".
Image: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram
'PMO gave indirect green signal to Raja'
The report says the prime minister on January 3, 2008 wanting to keep the PMO at "arm's length" seemed to have given an "indirect green signal" to Raja to go ahead and "execute his unfair, arbitrary and dubious designs".
The controversial distribution of licences and spectrum was taken by the DMK representative in the Cabinet on January 10, 2008, which the CAG had estimated a presumptive revenue loss of over Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
Image: Former Telecom Minister A Raja