PAC deals with accounts, JPC with accountability: Sushma

Even as senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who heads Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), is enthusiastic about the committee's ongoing probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the main Opposition party is putting up a brave front, maintaining that only a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) can ensure accountability.

The BJP dismissed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's offer to appear before the PAC, arguing it had no meaning and the issue was not just about accounts but about accountability.

Not at all enthusiastic about Dr. Joshi's comments about the PAC as its Chairman, senior BJP leaders merely said the PAC was an independent body and Dr. Joshi was only fulfilling his constitutional duty.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj chose Twitter to say that “[The] scope of PAC is totally different from that of JPC. While PAC deals with accounts, JPC deals with accountability and governance.”

Rudy emphatic

Party spokesperson and MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy was emphatic. “BJP at its highest level reiterates its stand that to go deep into the 1.76 lakh crore scam, nothing less than a JPC probe will do. We want to state categorically that the BJP will not accept anything less than a JPC,” Mr. Rudy told journalists here on Tuesday.

Clearly, the BJP finds itself speaking in different voices and in a peculiar situation, with Dr. Joshi commenting on Monday that the PAC could go beyond the CAG report on the 2G spectrum scam and would look into the Prime Minister's offer to appear before the panel.

“Joshi doing his job”

Asked about a pro-active PAC under the chairmanship of Dr. Joshi, the party spokesperson said: “The PAC Chairman is aware of his duties. He is doing his job. He has never said there is no need for a JPC.''

More In: National | News