Sonia slams BJP for parliament deadlock, corruptionBy IANS
Monday, December 13, 2010
NEW DELHI - Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday hit out at the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the deadlock in parliament over the demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam and accused it of double standards on corruption.
Addressing a Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting here, Gandhi blamed the opposition, particularly the BJP, for the unproductive winter session of parliament and assured that the government was determined to get to the root of the 2G spectrum controversy.
“The people of India will be entirely justified if they take a dim view of the manner in which the opposition, especially the principal opposition party, has disrupted every day of the session,”
“This has been the pattern from the day BJP was voted out of office in 2004. From the very first session of 14th Lok Sabha to the current one - every session has been disrupted on several days. It has required an enormous effort to pass essential government business,” she said.
The entire opposition, including the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Left parties and others, has been noisily demanding a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, which according to a CAG report, caused huge notional losses to the public exchequer.
This led to the adjournment of parliament on all days of the winter session except the inaugural day Nov 9.
A. Raja resigned Nov 7 as communications minister ahead of the parliament session over the scam.
Gandhi said the government had offered to attach a multi-disciplinary agency to support work of the public accounts committee (PAC) to break the logjam over a JPC probe but the opposition rejected it.
Gandhi rejected the Opposition demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam and said a multi-level probe was being conducted in the matter.
“It is preposterous to suggest that the government has something to hide or it is shying away from investigation. Let me reiterate in the clearest terms: our government has nothing to hide, our government has nothing to fear.
“Our concerns are that we should not undermine the established institutions such as the PAC and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). Nor should we do anything that will denigrate the institution of the prime minister. We cannot sacrifice institutions at the altar of political expediency,” she said.
Referring to former communications minister Raja, Gandhi said he resigned even before the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the 2G spectrum allocation was placed in parliament. She added that the report was referred to PAC in accordance with the rules.
She said the CBI had registered a case in September 2009 and the agency had said it will file a final report by March 2011. Gandhi said the government had also constituted a one-man committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to look into alleged irregularities in the allocation of the 2G spectrum and submit a report within a month.
“So, you will see, the problem is being addressed in several ways,” she said.
Expressing concern over corruption, Gandhi said political parties should devise a mechanism to curb the problem.
“On its part, the Congress has made it clear that there will be absolutely no tolerance of corruption or misconduct. Even when no charge has been established or no misconduct has been proved, we have asked ministers and chief ministers to step down, pending inquiry,” she said.
Accusing BJP of double-standards, she said corruption was rampant in Karnataka but the BJP had failed to act against its chief minister in the state.