I am happy to appear before PAC, says PM (Second Lead)

Monday, December 20, 2010

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said he had nothing to hide and he would be happy to appear before parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) if it called him in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

I wish to state categorically that I have nothing to hide from the public at large, and as a proof of my bonafides I intend to write to the chairman of the PAC that I shall be happy to appear before the PAC if it chooses to ask me to do so, the prime minister said at the Congress plenary session here.

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been falsely propagating that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was against a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe because we do not want the prime minister to be questioned by a parliamentary committee, thereby implying I have something to hide.

The prime minister said he had tried to serve the country to the best of his abilities for the past six-and-a-half years as the head of the council of ministers.

I sincerely believe that like Ceasers wife, the prime minister should be above suspicion and it is for this reason that I am prepared to appear before the PAC even though there is no precedent to that effect, Manmohan Singh said.

He said the PAC was looking into the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G spectrum, which itself is a JPC presided over by a senior leader of BJP, Murli Manohar Joshi.

Rejecting the opposition demand for JPC into the 2G spectrum controversy, the prime minister said the government was of the considered view that in the backdrop of multi-faceted action now in place no purpose would be served by a JPC except to delay the inquiry and politicise the matter.

The PAC has all the powers that can be given to JPC and the PAC is the acknowledged watchdog of any financial impropriety or misconduct. The PACs report will be placed and debated in parliament. The government is obliged to take action on the recommendations of PAC, he said.

The winter session of parliament was washed out over the oppositions demand for a JPC and the government’s refusal to accept it.

Filed under: Politics

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