2G scam: 11 MPs demand rejection of draft PAC report

New Delhi: Eleven MPs, including one each from SP and BSP, on Thursday demanded rejection of the draft PAC report on the 2G scam which has indicted former Telecom Minister A Raja and made critical observations about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

At the meeting of the 21-member committee, convened to discuss the draft report, nine members belonging to the ruling UPA — seven Congress, two DMK — and one each from SP and BSP opposed its adoption, Committee sources said.

They said the members spoke their views and gave in writing to Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi that the draft report be rejected.

After three hours of deliberations, Joshi found the going tough and adjourned the proceedings till 4 PM when the issue may be put to vote.

In case of lack of consensus in Committee meetings, rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha provide that all questions at any sittings of the Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting.

The draft report indicts the Prime Minister and the PMO for giving an "indirect green signal" to Raja for going ahead with his policies.

The draft report also attacked the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram for recommending to the Prime Minister to "treat the matter as closed" instead of taking action against those responsible for loss to the exchequer.

The voluminous report had some unpleasant words for Singh, who had kept his office at "arm`s length" in 2G spectrum issue which helped Raja "to execute his unfair, arbitrary and dubious designs".

During the meeting, UPA members expressed concern over leakage of the draft report. Congress and DMK members demanded voting to decide whether the report should be submitted to Lok Sabha.

The meeting began with members cutting across party lines discussing the leakage of the draft report which was circulated to the Parliamentary Committee by Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi. Some members said this was a matter of ethics and suggested that CBI should investigate it.

Sources said though there were major differences between members the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.

Joshi reportedly gave each member the opportunity to express his views.

The strength of the two sides is delicately balanced in the 21-member committee which has seven representatives from the Congress, four from BJP, two each from AIADMK and DMK, and one each from Shiv Sena, BJD, JD(U), SP, BSP and CPI(M).

Rules state that in case of all financial reports if the majority in the committee decides against presentation of the report to the Speaker, the Chairperson has to go by this decision.

The Congress and DMK had yesterday attacked Joshi over the report and demanded his resignation, alleging that he was trying to destabilise the government.

The controversial distribution of licences and spectrum was taken by the DMK representative in the Cabinet on January 10, 2008, which the CAG had estimated a presumptive revenue loss of over Rs 1.76 lakh crore.