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  • PM ready to appear before PAC in 2G issue

    Published on December 20, 2010

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would be “happy” to appear before the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee in the 2G spectrum issue as he has nothing to hide.

    Adopting an unusually aggressive stance, he accused the Opposition of “obduracy” over the demand for Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into 2G issue, saying it would serve no purpose.

    Addressing the Congress Plenary on the concluding day of the two-day conclave, he said the PAC, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, has all the powers which can be given to a JPC.

    The entire Opposition stalled proceedings in the Winter Session of Parliament on the demand for JPC into the 2G spectrum scam that resulted in a washout of the session.

    Dr. Singh’s attack on the Opposition, especially the BJP, comes a day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s address at the conclave in which she had given a five-point action plan for the government and Congress party in the battle against corruption.

    Government will pay careful attention to the five-point agenda to fight corruption set out by Gandhi, he said.

    Contending that the Opposition was “falsely propagating” that government was shying away from JPC to prevent the Prime Minister from appearing before it, Dr. Singh said he has “nothing to hide from the public”.

    He said he would be “happy to appear” before the PAC though there was no precedent and he intended to write to the PAC chairman in this regard.

    Noting that multi-disciplinary investigations are underway into the spectrum allocation issue, Dr. Singh asserted no guilty person would be spared in 2G spectrum or CWG scams.

    All aspects of 2G spectrum allocation are being probed and the Supreme Court is monitoring the CBI investigation in the matter, the Prime Minister said.

    “I sincerely believe that like Ceasar’s wife, PM should be above suspicion,” Dr. Singh said.

    “I wish to state categorically that I have nothing to hide from the public at large and as a proof of my bonafides I intend to write to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee that I shall be happy to appear before the PAC, if it chooses to ask me to do so,” Dr. Singh said.

    Dr. Singh said the PAC report would be tabled in Parliament and debated.

    “It is difficult to comprehend the Opposition’s insistence that only a JPC could probe the 2G spectrum matter,” the Prime Minister said while noting that the entire Winter Session of Parliament had been wasted because of the Opposition’s “obduracy”.

    He pointed out that immediately after the CAG report on 2G became public, A Raja had resigned as Telecom Minister.

    Referring to Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s five-point action plan outlined on Sunday to battle corruption, Dr. Singh said he wished to assure her that it would receive careful attention of his government.

    “Our approach to corruption is clearly reflected by our acts, both in the Centre and the states. We have asked our Ministers and Chief Ministers to step down merely on the basis of suspicions because we believe in principled politics,” Dr. Singh said.

    Hitting out at BJP for not sacking Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, he said, “We are not like some Opposition parties who want to retain their tainted Chief Ministers despite scandal after scandal.