Baalu hopeful of Lok Sabha holding short discussion on issue next week

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has urged Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Murli Manohar Joshi to convene two special meetings of the panel in view of the recent allegations made by the former Director-General (Audit) for Post and Telecommunications in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) office, R.P. Singh, on the 2G spectrum allocation issue.

DMK’s Chief Whip and Lok Sabha member T.K.S. Elangovan, who is also a member of the PAC, wrote to Mr. Joshi, asking him to convene special meetings — one with the officials and Ministries concerned, and another with the PAC members.

Meanwhile, DMK Parliamentary Party leader T.R. Baalu, who earlier gave notice to the Lok Sabha Secretariat to hold, under Rule 193 (without voting), a short-duration discussion on the latest revelations of Mr. Singh, has sent a reminder letter to the Lok Sabha Secretariat. He was hopeful of the matter being taken up next week as a notice had to be issued to the Finance Ministry in this regard.

Informed sources said the party was examining whether its members, the former Communications Minister, A. Raja (Lok Sabha), and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi may be allowed to represent the party in the discussions as it would give them a chance to defend themselves and present their versions of the 2G issue. Both were arrested by the CBI in connection with the case and are on bail now, facing trial in the Special CBI court here.

The DMK had sought a judicial probe, headed by a Supreme Court judge, into the fresh controversy on 2G spectrum allocation.

Mr. Singh had alleged, in a media interview last week, that a PAC member influenced him to prepare the final report of the CAG by mentioning the presumptive loss as Rs.1.75 lakh crore (as a result of allotment of 2G spectrum as per the year 2001 rate) though the actual loss could not be more than Rs.2,600 crore, as mentioned by him in the draft report.

However, Mr. Joshi denied Mr. Singh’s allegations and reportedly said: “Mr. Singh’s allegations on 2G report are an attempt to malign the CAG and PAC by vested interests, including the government. The government is trying to shift the attention from the corruption within itself.”