Parties outside the alliance of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday held the United Progressive Alliance government responsible for the impasse in Parliament. They said it could be ended by announcing a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation.
The parties comprised Left parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Asom Gana Parishad, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
“It is indeed unfortunate that Parliament could not transact any business in the current winter session. The UPA government and the leader of coalition, the Congress, are responsible for this by their obdurate refusal to appoint a JPC to probe all facts of the massive 2G spectrum scam. This scam is the single largest corruption scandal in independent India, estimated by the CAG to have led to a loss of over Rs. 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer,'' the parties said in a joint statement.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu said leaders of the like-minded secular parties felt that a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) scrutiny of the CAG report had its limitations and the earlier governments had constituted JPCs on corruption scams of smaller dimensions. The leaders would meet again soon to plan their future course of action in case the government did not concede the Opposition demand.
The statement said, besides identifying and nailing the guilty, it was necessary to identify how the system was manipulated to result in such a massive scam. Further, on this basis it was necessary to suggest reforms and regulations for the future, including legislation, if necessary. The latter two objectives could not be accomplished by any parliamentary panel like the PAC but only by a JPC.
The leaders also expressed deep concern at the “exponentially growing cases of corruption” in the country. They cited the Commonwealth Games scam and the Adarsh Housing Society that were already under public scrutiny.
The parties said cases of illegal mining and land grabbing in States such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh also must be investigated and political leadership made accountable. “These illegal monies are already gravely distorting the democratic process by unduly influencing the electoral process,” the statement noted.
Besides Mr. Naidu, the other leaders who attended a meeting included Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), S. Sudhakar Reddy and D. Raja (CPI), Barun Mukherjee and G. Devarajan (AIFB), H.D.. Deve Gowda and H.D. Kumaraswamy (JD-S), M. Thambidurai (AIADMK), Birendra Prasad Baishya (AGP), Jayant Choudhary (RLD), A. Ganeshamurthi (MDMK), Nama Nageswara Rao, M.V. Mysura Reddy, K. Yerrannaidu, K. Rama Mohana Rao, Devendra Goud (all TDP).