The BJP has made up its mind to exit the Joint Parliamentary Committee, examining the 2G spectrum scam, on the ground that it does not expect the panel to unearth the ‘truth with a biased’ Chairman P.C. Chacko.
The BJP members, who staged a walkout minutes after the panel began its proceedings on Tuesday, told a news conference here that they would come out with a report of their own on the basis of the material at their disposal.
The BJP has been at loggerheads with Mr. Chacko and the Congress members on the JPC over calling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as witnesses.
As soon as the meeting began, the issue flared up as Mr. Chacko declined to entertain any question on the list of witnesses to be summoned. The former Finance Minister and BJP leader, Yashwant Sinha, had on September 15 written to the Chairman on the progress on the issue of the list. After a tussle among the members, Mr. Chacko was authorised to prepare the list.
On Monday, the Chairman wrote to Mr. Sinha stating he was still in the process of preparing the list. The agenda for the Tuesday meeting was examination of RBI Governor and the then Finance Secretary D. Subbarao.
Mr. Sinha, along with other BJP members told journalists that his party had lost faith in the panel and did not expect it to uncover the truth.
“All of us have come to the conclusion that there is no point in continuing to serve on the panel because [from] the manner in which the Chairman is functioning, it is quite clear that the Joint Parliamentary Committee is not now an instrument for uncovering the truth.”
Mr. Sinha charged that Mr. Chacko, who has recently been named as one of Congress spokespersons, was being influenced by the party leadership.
The committee had become an “instrument” for “putting a cover to conceal and not indulge in honest inquiry,” Mr. Sinha alleged. A formal decision on whether the BJP members would continue on the panel would be taken after discussions with the party leadership. The BJP would deliberate on this issue soon after Thursday’s ‘Bharat bandh’ called by the party against diesel price hike and FDI issues, he said.