New Delhi:Denied a hearing by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on telecom, DMK leader A Raja might get a chance to tell his version of the 2G story before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The PAC’s 2G report remains an “unfinished agenda” as it was not formally adopted after Congress members protested its conclusions blaming PM Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram for lack of oversight.
The recent controversy over Raja being indicted by the JPC without being allowed to present his views has brought the PAC’s older report in focus. TNN
PAC on 2G: DMK’s exit may make things difficult for UPA
New Delhi: The DMK’s exit from the ruling coalition has also tilted the balance slightly away from the UPA in the PAC and a new sense of opposition unity can propel the 2G report back onto the committee’s active agenda.
The report did not get an official tag after a PAC meeting was adjourned without a ruling from senior BJP leader M M Joshi who heads the committee. Joshi thereafter sent the report to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
The Congress and its allies had then demanded a vote on the report’s adoption, a move that came back to haunt the ruling party in the JPC where half the members have threatened to “reject” the official draft’s clean chit to PM Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram. Sources said the 2G report has not been brought back for the PAC’s consideration given the tempers it has raised in the past, but it was up to the panel to decide whether it needs to hear more witnesses to add to the report.
Joshi had been keen that the committee examine T K A Nair, former principal secretary to the PM (currently secretary in PMO), former cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar and A Raja. The BJP leader had argued that the PMO and the cabinet secretariat could respond to Raja’s claims that he had not acted in isolation and kept the PM and Chidambaram informed about both policy and allocation procedures.
Clashes in PAC meetings ensured that none of the three were able to brief the committee, but the Congress’s opposition to the draft ensured it could be brought back to life from the suspended animation it has been in.
Whether the committee does get around to calling Raja is a contentious issue, as such a move is bound to reignite the acrimony that marked proceedings when the 2G report was being considered. However, this time, the DMK has switched sides over Raja being denied a hearing by the JPC.