New Delhi: Rejecting the government's offer for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the VVIP helicopter deal, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) said on Wednesday this was aimed at scuttling the investigations as the current Lok Sabha's term will end next year.
"JPC is meaningless in present situation because the Lok Sabha term will end in about a year's time and as we know JPCs take longer. So this is a method of scuttling the probe," senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has said that the government is open to a JPC or any kind of inquiry.
"It is for the house when it debates (the issue) to take a decision on this. We are ready for any investigation or inquiry of any kind. Going to any length is acceptable to the government," Kamal Nath said.
He also said that some opposition parties have demanded a JPC.
"Government totally accepts JPC. Some of the political parties have said that they want a JPC ...we (government) accept a JPC. The point is that the government wants to get to the bottom of this because such a scam breaking out internationally is a slur on India. One is the bribery part of it and the corruption part of it. That is why it is very important on part of the government of India to reveal the truth not only to people of the country but to all the concerned all over," Kamal Nath added.
Earlier, Sinha told reporters here that the party favours a serious and thorough probe into the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland helicopter contract and wanted the investigation to be monitored by a court.
BJP has emphasised that a time-bound CBI probe monitored by the Supreme Court is needed on the issue. It has also demanded that the names of the recipients of the alleged kickbacks in the deal should be revealed.
At the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting today morning, the main opposition also decided to flag during the Budget Session the issues of Sethusamudram project and the violence against tribals in Assam.
"We will raise the Ram Setu issue and the violence against tribals of Assam in both Houses of Parliament. BJP will not tolerate any tampering with the Ram Setu (Adam's bridge). If required, we will go for an agitation on it," BJP Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde told reporters.
BJP has demanded that the government should abandon the Sethusamudram project as it would lead to cutting into mythological Ram Setu.