Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy on Thursday lashed out at the opposition members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which is looking the 2G spectrum allocation scam, for demanding the removal of panel chairperson P.C. Chacko, saying it is unwarranted, unnecessary and politically motivated.
Taking on the opposition parties for submitting a memorandum to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in this regard, Narayanasamy said 'in our parliamentary system, we never bring the political party system in the parliamentary committees'.
"This has been started recently by the chairman of PAC Murli Manohar Joshi. I worked as a Member of Parliament in several parliamentary committees, standing committees and also consultative committees where the Members of Parliament in one voice they decide issues. In fact, the issue arose on the PAC on the 2G issue only where Murli Manohar Joshi wanted to make a political issue out of this and he tried to get popularity on that and the 2G PAC report was leaked before it is adopted by the committee," said Narayanasamy.
"Lots of issues were going on. When the Members of Parliament belonging to the opposition parties were more Murli Manohar Joshi did not allow the committee to adopt the report and he abruptly concluded the meeting. And then he sent a letter to the honourable Speaker to adopt the report of the committee. This is very unethical and it is unfortunate. Now, the same tactics is being adopted by the BJP on the issue of JPC," he added.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier in the day informed 14 members of the JPC have submitted a memorandum to the Lok Sabha Speaker today, saying they have lost trust in Chacko.
"Today, 14 members of the JPC belonging to eight political parties met the Speaker and have given separately their complaint expressing complete lack of confidence in P.C. Chacko, the chairman of the JPC. The parties were BJP, JD (U), CPI, CPM, Trinamool Congress, BJD, DMK and AIADMK. One member of the JD (U) could not reach because his flight was late. The moment he will reach the Parliament he will also separately file a complaint to honourable Speaker's office," he said.
Prasad, who is the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the opposition members have accused Chacko of being biased, and asked the Lok Sabha Speaker to appoint another member as the chairman of JPC.
"We have serious grievances which we have articulated in our memorandum to the honourable Speaker on the way Chacko as the chairman of the JPC has conducted; it is completely unbecoming of the chairman and also raises serious doubt about a collective effort to unearth the truth. Many relevant witnesses were deliberately not called. Many other material issues which ought to have been discussed were not discussed ; and the way the draft report was circulated to the media even before we came to know about it," said Prasad.
"On the 18th April in the evening at 7 we received a message that we are going to get a copy of the draft report and we got it on the 19th morning. But it was all out in the media before that. Totality of the circumstances have led us to a situation where we have lost all confidence in P.C. Chacko as the chairman of an important body like JPC to unearth the biggest scam of Independent India. We have requested honourable Speaker to appoint another member of the JPC as the chairman," he added.
Former Telecom Minister A. Raja had earlier on Monday lashed out at the JPC for not allowing him to depose before it, saying this is not the way the panel examining the 2G spectrum allocation is expected to function.
"This is not the way the JPC is expected to function. Even without waiting for my statement the JPC prepared a draft report and also leaked it to the media," said Raja. "I always had concerns about the credibility of JPC," he added.
Raja, who has been accused of indulging in a scam worth Rs. 1.76 lakh crore when in office, last week reiterated that he did everything in consultation with the Prime Minister, and said that he will prove his innocence in the 2G spectrum scam case.
Raja has repeatedly said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were in the loop over policy decisions related to 2G spectrum allocation.
According to media reports, a leaked draft report of the committee says Raja had tweaked the rules to award mobile permits to a few chosen companies, and that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were not informed about the changes.
The draft report has given a clean chit to the Prime Minister on the 2G spectrum allocation, saying he was misled by the then Telecom Minister.
The report blames Raja for tweaking norms in favour of a few companies. It rubbishes the loss figure of 1.76 lakh crore rupees estimated by the CAG.
The 2G scam had damaged the reputation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government and also tarnished the image of the country's telecom sector.
Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet after the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)