Ahead of its rally here on Wednesday against corruption, the NDA on Tuesday remained firm on its demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam and asked the government to give up its “adamant” stand on it as PAC has “limited powers“.
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav also downplayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s offer to appear before the PAC, saying that the Opposition had not raised the issue of his being summoned before the Parliamentary committee.
“JPC means sky is the limit while PAC has limited powers....JPC is a sort of mini-Parliament which is the only instrument left to deal with the issue of corruption. I still want Congress to give up its adamant attitude. It is not good,” Mr. Yadav said addressing a press conference here.
Claiming that even Congress allies are in support of JPC, he said that a JPC this time would be a “balanced” affair as government does not have a majority in Rajya Sabha.
This will enable a “result” to come out of the JPC probe, he said claiming that a JPC has always been set up whenever cases of corruption and scams have come to light.
“Why you are against the setting up of JPC when a provision for this has been made in the Constitution apart from the PAC,” he wondered, adding, there were only four months left for the term of the current PAC to be over.
The fear of government to institute JPC probe only raises suspicion that the government in hell bent upon saving the corrupt and the so-called probe by central agencies is only an eye wash, Mr. Yadav alleged.
He said all NDA constituents will participate in Wednesday’s rally when asked to comment on Shiv Sena’s threat to boycott it over Raj’s visit to BJP office in Mumbai on Monday.
“I don’t know about this. All the constituents of NDA will be part of the rally... Manohar Joshi has said Anant Gite will be participating in the rally from Shiv Sena. He (Joshi) said he will not be able to take part in the rally as he is not in good health,” he said.
“I can’t say who will come and who will not,” he said when asked to give names of other leaders.
Mr. Yadav said efforts were made to bring non-NDA parties to the rally too but they could not succeed. However, efforts are still on in the direction, he added.
On the Prime Minister asking people to fight corruption, Mr. Yadav said, “He is talking in a language, which suits the opposition leaders, not someone heading the government....Whom are they asking to end corruption when it is their responsibility.”
On Congress describing demand of JPC by Opposition as political, he said, “Yes, it is political because people occupying high political posts are alleged to have been involved in corruption.”
“A person sitting on the political post of Prime Minister has to heed our political demand of JPC,” he added.
Noting that the corrupt deserved to be exposed regardless of their political affiliations, Mr. Yadav said this was the reason why he had asked Pranab Mukherjee to get the 2G spectrum allocation probed by JPC from the year 1998 at the first meeting called by the Finance Minister to end Parliament logjam over the issue.
“The intention behind this was that corruption, done by anyone, should be exposed. We don’t have any objection if the 2G spectrum issue is probed from the period of NDA rule,” he said.
He said that the Congress plenary was “disappointing” as it had failed to address the “nation’s worry“.
“The focus of the entire exercise of Congress during its plenary was on how to escape from setting up JPC on 2G spectrum scam,” he said.
Mr. Yadav also accused Congress of diverting the attention of people by making “non-issues as issues“.
“They are thinking why not riots are taking place and why not such frenzy is created again. They are giving speech on secularism when the issue is corruption and price rise,” he said.
The JD (U) chief claimed that a struggle is on against corruption and price rise from all sides. “Mamata Banerjee is campaigning in West Bengal which is not less in the magnitude of our campaign....Left parties are also going to raise these issues. Chandrababu Naidu went on hunger strike for the cause of farmers.”
On the issue of price rise, Mr. Yadav said people of the country have fallen a victim to spiralling prices because of wrong policy and “political decision” of the government.
“Those decisions of the government can be probed only by a JPC and CBI is just not fit for checking the bad politics of the government,” he added.