New Delhi: BJP members of a parliamentary panel
probing the 2G spectrum allocation walked out of a meeting Tuesday
against the chairman's refusal to call Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh to depose, saying they felt there was no point in continuing
to be members of the committee.
A final decision on whether to continue or withdraw from the joint
committee will be taken later, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader
Yashwant Sinha said.
"There is no point in continuing in the JPC. The way it is
functioning, it is quite clear JPC is not any more an instrument
for uncovering truth but for putting a cover on the scam," Sinha
said, adding a final decision will be taken after the party-called
Sep 20 Bharat Bandh (India shutdown).
"Immediately after Bharat Bandh, we will decide on future course
of action; whether we have to continue in the committee or leave,"
Sinha said at a press conference at the party's national
The JPC, which is probing the contentious 2G spectrum allocation,
was formed on the opposition's insistence after the entire winter
session of parliament in 2009 was lost to protests demanding a JPC.
Sinha said the BJP members were not allowed to speak, and accused
JPC chairman P.C. Chacko of having a "dictatorial attitude".
"As soon as the meeting began, the chairman said, 'I have received
a letter from Yashwant Sinha and have sent a reply... Let us call
the witnesses now'," Sinha said giving an account of events.
"(BJP member) Ravishankar Prasad then raised his hand, and Chacko
said if it is about the list of witnesses, he will not allow any
discussion," Sinha said, adding that their members repeatedly
asked if the issue will be taken up later, but the chairman did
not allow them to speak at all.
"He behaved in a totally dictatorial manner, reminiscent of the
Emergency. We are sorry to say, he did not behave like the
chairman of the committee but acted like spokesperson of Congress.
So, we walked out of the committee," he said.
This is the second time when the BJP has walked out of the JPC.
Earlier, at a meeting of the committee Aug 22 during parliament's
monsoon session, BJP members walked out from the committee after a
member from the Congress accused them of making it a "Kangaroo
Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao, who was finance
secretary at the time of 2G spectrum allocation, deposed before
the JPC Tuesday. According to a member from the committee, the JPC
chairman said since P. Chidambaram, who was the finance minister
at the time, he need not be summoned as his position was same as
that of Subbarao.
Apart from the prime minister, the BJP members had also been
demanding Chidambaram be summoned.