Left leaders walk out of JPC meet

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 13:05 hrs

Senior Left Front leaders on Thursday walked out of a meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that is examining the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, over summoning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram as witnesses in the case.

According to reports, Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Gurudas Dasgupta, who was demanding that both Singh and Chidambaram depose as witnesses in connection to the case, walked out of the meeting.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) have supported the decision of the Left leaders.

India´s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) boycotted the the JPC meeting.

The BJP members of the JPC have been demanding to call Singh and Chidambaram to depose before it.

Senior BJP members Yashwant Sinha said he has written a letter to Committee Chairman P C Chacko and said the party will boycott the meeting.

"I have written a letter to him. I have said 22 days have passed since our last meeting and three months have passed since this issue of finalising the list of witness came up. He is still undecided. He does not want to take a decision on the list of witnesses," Sinha told media.

"The Congress party and the Chairman of the JPC, who is member of the Congress party, is trying to use the JPC to cover up the truth This is not acceptable to us," he said.

"In my letter to him today, I have said clearly that until he decides on the final list of witnesses and comes before the Committee, there is no point in our attending the meetings of the JPC. This is our final stand. I have sent a copy of the letter to the Speaker and asked her to intervene into the matter," he said.

The BJP members, who are part of the JPC examining the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, walked out of a meeting of the panel on Sept 18 as their demand of finalising the list of witness in connection to the case was rejected.

Touted to be the biggest corruption scandal of independent India, the 2G scam, allegedly masterminded by former telecom minister A Raja, pertains to a biased distribution of mobile airwaves and operating licenses, in lieu of kickbacks, to telcos that could have cost the treasury up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue, according to the government´s auditors CAG.

The court on May 15 granted bail to Raja who was languishing in the Tihar jail for 15 months in the 2G case.

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