New Delhi, Jun 28: A fresh attempt by Murli Manohar Joshi to rake up his report on 2G spectrum scam for adoption by Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was today rebuffed by Congress members.
At the end of a three-hour meeting, Joshi, who was reappointed Chairman of the Committee, decided to take the views of Constitutional experts as conflicting views were put out by members in favour of and against the Committee taking up a report which the Congress members claimed was already rejected.
Interestingly, DMK and BSP members supported the contention of the BJP-led NDA that the report, which had criticised the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram, should be circulated.
Joshi, whose earlier attempt in April to get the report adopted was defeated by members of Congress, DMK, BSP and SP, today tabled the same report along with a letter from Speaker Meira Kumar.
The previous PAC had seven representatives from theCongress, four from BJP, two each from AIADMK and DMK, and one each from Shiv Sena, BJD, JD(U), SP, BSP and CPI(M). In the new Committee, the Congress has eight members, its allies NCP and DMK one each. The BJP has four, BSP has two, Shiv Sena, BJD, AIADMK, CPI(M), SP and Akali Dal have one member each.
In her letter, Kumar had said that she was returning the “draft report” as it was “not read and adopted” as per rules and procedures.
As Joshi sought to resurrect his 2G report, Congress member Jayanti Natarajan asked him the basis on which he was taking up the matter.
Joshi disallowed Natarajan from raising it but she contended that the 2G report should not be taken up by the current PAC as the matter was before a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
She was supported by her party colleagues K Sudhakaran, Sanjay Nirupam, Girija Vyas, Saifuddin Soz and K S Rao. On the other hand, NDA members wanted circulation of the report for consideration. DMK and BSP members, who had backed the Congress in April, also favoured the circulation of the report, apparently reflecting the current ties with with Congress.
BSP MP SC Mishra is understood to have said that members would be in a position to comment on it only after reading it. DMK member Adhi Sankar wanted the PAC to call more witnesses in connection with the 2G scam issue.
“Various points of views were expressed by members by citing rules of procedure and directions and guidelines were quoted both for and against,” Joshi told reporters. He said after hearing all the views, he informed the Committee that he would consider their views and opinion from Constitutional experts will be taken and placed before them. Congress attacked Joshi's fresh attempt to revive the 2G issue.
“Stop sacrificing Parliamentary propriety at the altar of political expediency,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.
“Why a report which has been rejected by the majority is being pushed down the throat of the new PAC, specially when a JPC has been constituted with a specific purpose to look into the 2G issue. Is it not that the JPC is functioning? Is it not that the Opposition parties also have its members on the JPC,” Tewari said.
At the PAC meeting, BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab is learnt to have said that the Speaker, while returning the report, had neither given any specific directions to the PAC, nor rejected it.
He pointed out that the Speaker, in her letter to the PAC Chairman, had referred to the document as a “draft report”. Natarajan also sought to know from Joshi on what basis had he written to the Speaker about the “unruly behaviour” of the Congress members during the PAC meeting on April 28.
The PAC meeting on April 28 had descended into chaos after the UPA managed to secure the support of BSP and SP to obtain a surprising majority which “rejected” the draft report on the 2G scam that was sharply critical of Prime Minister, his office and others.
Joshi had then sent the report Speaker Meira Kumar along with a covering letter detailing the sequence of events during the meeting.
The Speaker had returned the draft report, saying it had not been adopted by the panel. PTI