New Delhi, Dec 10: Terming the Joint Parliamentary Committee probe report on 2G spectrum allocations as lacking credibility with even the dissent note having been edited, BJP leader Arun Jaitley Tuesday accused the Congress-led UPA government of subverting institutions to cover up corruption.
“The conduct of the Congress party and the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government makes it clear that they have failed to learn the lessons from the results of the recently held assembly elections. The strategy is to first indulge in acts of corruption and then subvert constitutional institutions in order to cover them up,” he said in a post on Facebook.
The report was tabled in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.
Jaitley, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, also expressed his disappointment at the presiding officer not giving a ruling on his contention that Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) chairman P.C. Chacko had committed a breach of privilege by changing the substance of dissent note given to him by opposition members on the panel.
Jaitley alleged the note of dissent has been edited.
“Today, I raised an issue in the Rajya Sabha, whether the chairman of the committee can only edit superfluous or unparliamentary references made in a note of dissent, or can he change the substance of the dissent note that was submitted? By doing so, the chairman has committed a breach of privilege. I invited a ruling from the Chair on this issue. Regrettably no ruling came,” Jaitley said.
“The only consolation I have is that the government stands exposed. The Emperor is without clothes. Even a parliamentary cover-up through a JPC will not save it of the embarrassment,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader added.
Jaitley said parliament appointed a JPC to examine the matter of allocation and pricing of telecom and spectrum, and the report was approved by a slender majority.
He said the main issues that the JPC had to examine were whether spectrum allocated in 2008 could be given at 2001 price, if goalposts could be shifted in procedure for allocation and if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were in the know of and privy to the decisions taken by the then communications minister A. Raja.
“The majority report (of JPC) bypasses most of these issues. On the contrary, it has devoted large sections of the report to blame the NDA government. Obviously, the report will carry no credibility,” he maintained.
He said the JPC, which went into the Bofors case, invented a theory that commissions paid to the middlemen were not kickbacks but winding-up charges, while the parliamentary panel probing the cash-for-vote scam blamed the opposition MPs but the trial court held that these MPs were whistleblowers and had committed no offence.
“If we want that the dignity of the parliamentary institutions be maintained, we must ensure that the truth surfaces and not be covered up,” he said.