By MOHAN SAHAY
Why the UPA Government is afraid of a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G Spectrum scam? The different arguments being advanced are removed from the real reason behind the government’s refusal to accept the Opposition demand to constitute a JPC.
The report of the JPC is not mandatory- it is not binding on the government to take action on the basis of the report. Earlier JPC reports on Bofors or Harshad Mehta stock scam never led to any conclusion. The JPC has always been a divided house. Yet, Pranab Mukherjee, leader of the House in Lok Sabha as ruled out Opposition demand for a JPC on 2G Spectrum.
Here are some real concerns of the government. Once the JPC is constituted, the Opposition would summon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appear before the Committee- something which has never happened in the past; something that would embarrass the Prime Minister and the Government.
At present, the CBI which is investigating the case is selective in making public the documents and related information to the media. The CBI is also selective in giving affidavits in the Supreme Court which is in the process of hearing the PIL on 2G.
One the JPC comes into the picture, it will have access to all the files and related documents that would include exchange of letters between A Raja, the Communication Minister and the main architect of the scam who had to resign. The JPC would take full advantage of publicizing every piece of information it will have in its possession that would go against the government. Any good work done by the government would pale into insignificance in the face of negative publicity of the 2G scam fuelled by the JPC. Any member of the JPC can and will leak information to the media at every given opportunity.
It is this reason that is holding the government from acceding to the Opposition demand to agree for a JPC probe even if that means continued logjam of Parliament that may be adjourned sine die next week. The resignation of P J Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner which is now a certainty will not in any way change the Opposition stance on 2G. Hence Prnamab Mukherjee’s firm NO to JPC!
(The writer is a Delhi based Political Commentator)