2G case: Yashwant Sinha slams JPC, says PM must appear before panel
Describing the functioning of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G as "scandalous", BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram appear before it for the truth to come out.
Sinha, who is also a member of the JPC, has raised serious objections over not convening of the panel meeting for two months now and demanded that then Telecom Minister A Raja, who has been wanting to appear before the JPC, be allowed to do so as he is a key witness in the scam.
The BJP member had Monday written to PM Manmohan Singh asking him to appear before the committee to "clear" his name following allegations levelled against him by Raja. He said any hesitation on the Prime Minister's part to appear before JPC will prove that he has "something to hide".
"The way in which the JPC proceedings are being conducted by its chairman is scandalous to the extreme. For over two months the meeting of the JPC has not been called and various members including me have been demanding convening of JPC meeting ," Sinha said.
The NDA's former Finance Minister feared, "We will not be able to arrive at the truth and the whole effort will be wasted in concealing the truth."
Sinha said Raja has cast serious aspersions on the conduct of the Prime Minister, Chidambaram and on the evidence presented before the JPC by Attorney General GE Vahanvati.
The BJP member said, "If Raja presents his side of the story then the Prime Minister and Finance Minister will be in serious trouble and to save them from this situation, the JPC Chairman is not calling Raja. I have written to the Prime Minister that he should appear before the JPC so that the truth comes out."
Reacting on Sinha's remarks, Information anf Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said it would be more appropriate if Sinha, being a JPC member, speaks within the confines of the Committee. Tewari said Sinha's demand, which was raised in the JPC and rejected by the Committee, sounds "completely preposterous".
Sinha also took a dig at the PM's earlier offer to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). "He is doing it because he knew under the rules, the PAC cannot call political persons. Rules prohibits PAC from calling political persons. So he knew PAC had no authority to call him. The JPC, on the other hand, has the authority to call political persons and therefore he is not making that offer," he said.