If not JPC, think of substitute, CPI-M tells government

Monday, November 22, 2010

NEW DELHI - Maintaining that only a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) could probe the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Monday asked the government to suggest viable alternatives if it did not want to appoint one.

“If the ruling party does not want a JPC, they must come out with an alternative which can substitute the probe as the JPC,” CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters outside parliament.

“The main issue is how to recover the money that was lost due to the act, the government should come out with a solution,” he said.

The CPI-M leader, however, did not agree that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was an alternative - the government has said there was no need for a JPC because the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report would be studied by the PAC.

The Congress has also maintained that a JPC demand is not relevant as a judicial probe is going on and no additional probe is needed.

“The PAC will only discuss the CAG report,” Yechury said, adding that only a JPC with representatives from all parties can conduct an independent probe into the scam that involves “big people”.

The CAG has indicted A. Raja, who resigned as communications minister over the scandal, and said his policies could have caused a loss of up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

Parliament’s winter session that began Nov 9 has witnessed repeated adjournments over the opposition’s insistence for a JPC probe into the scam, even after Raja, who was at the heart of the controversy, resigned.

The Left parties have also demanded probe into the Commonwealth Games corruption and the Adarsh housing society scam of Mumbai.

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