JPC report on 2G scam was cover-up for PM: CPI-M

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) The CPI-M Friday said the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report on the 2G spectrum scam was a cover-up effort to absolve Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of complicity.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, speaking to reporters, said then Telecom Minister A. Raja could not alone be held responsible for the scam, which involved the illegal allocation of frequency to mobile telephony companies at less than prevailing market costs.

"The main conclusion of my dissenting note, which I had submitted on Sep 27, 2013, was that 'Raja alone could not be held responsible. The complicity of the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) and the finance minister has not been taken on board'," the Rajya Sabha member said.

Disagreeing with the DMK's contention that Raja was made a convenient scapegoat, Yechury also said that the former telecom minister could not be absolved: "You can't absolve Raja on the basis of material (that was) before us. That is not correct."

Terming his note "virtually a parallel report", Yechury said: "You can't absolve either of the two (prime minister and finance minister) and their complicity in the whole scam."

Pointing to the somersault by the finance ministry on its earlier stand opposing giving of 2G licences and spectrum at 2001 prices, Yechury said the about-turn took place after the meeting between the prime minister, finance minister and then telecom minister Raja.

There is no record of this meeting, except for a note that was made later, Yechury said.

He added that there were questions arising from the material made available by Raja, which could only be answered by the prime minister or the finance minister.

The CPI-M leader also said that the material that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had given to the Supreme Court in its detailed affidavit should have been made available to the JPC.

Yechury also agreed with the DMK position that Raja ought to have received an opportunity to appear before the committee.

"When he is seen as the main accused, we should have heard him. That was only fair, as a matter of natural justice," Yechury said.

A report of the committee, which gives a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, was adopted Sep 27. Six political parties have submitted dissenting notes.


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