Chacko says clean chit was given to Dr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram based on the terms of reference which covered a 10-year period.
The draft Joint Parliamentary Committee report on the 2G scam, as well as its leakage, has triggered a row with the Opposition alleging that it was a plug job for the Congress in general and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in particular.
The Opposition hit out at JPC Chairman P.C. Chacko for the content of the report as well as its leakage even before it was circulated among the panel members. However, an unfazed Chacko said a clean chit was given to Dr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram based on the terms of reference which covered a 10-year period.
“We have to go in a chronological order ... it is not that we are targeting one person or period,” he said adding JPC members should look at the draft on the basis of merit and not with a “political mind.”
Meanwhile, the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, who figures prominently in the draft report and has been charged with misleading the Prime Minister on the 2G spectrum issue, maintained that he had done everything in consultation with Dr. Singh and would send a detailed note in his defence to the panel next week. “After demitting office, I told everyone that whatever I did was in consultation with the Prime Minister. After I was arrested, I advanced the same argument in court and at the time of framing of charges, the same argument was forwarded. My stand has been very clear,” he told reporters in Chennai.
Mr. Raja had written to the JPC Chairman saying he would like to depose before the panel and this was supported by the Opposition members on the committee. However, Mr. Chacko maintained that there was no need to call the former Minister.
On the leakage of the draft report, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said it amounted to breach of privilege. “The draft report looks like a Congress document, and not a JPC report, in which there is an overpowering desire to save its leaders including the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister in the 2G scam.”
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said the report was yet to be finalised and requested the media and the Opposition to refrain from speculation.