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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

JPC 2G meet postponed as Cong, BJP squabble

IANS  New Delhi, April 25, 2013
First Published: 11:29 IST(25/4/2013) | Last Updated: 13:34 IST(25/4/2013)

The meeting of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on 2G spectrum allocation to finalise its draft report has been postponed, sources said Thursday.

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The 30-member JPC, which is divided over the content of the report, was scheduled to meet at 3pm Thursday.

"The meeting has been postponed and is likely to be held next week," a source said.

The Congress core group met Thursday to discuss the issue.

In attendance were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, defence minister AK Antony, finance minister P Chidambaram and parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath.

The draft JPC report had laid the blame for the losses to the public exchequer on account of faulty allocation of spectrum and grant of licences on former telecom minister A Raja, clearing Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram of any wrongdoing.

The JPC is divided over the culpability of Raja, whose note submitted to the panel has stated that everything he did was with the knowledge of the prime minister.

In 2011, an entire winter session of parliament was washed out as the BJP did not allow either house to run till a JPC probe was set up.

The issue came up after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) alleged a presumptive loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences during the UPA-I government 2004-09.

All members of the JPC should "adopt the report without voting", panel chief PC Chacko appealed.

A meeting of the committee, scheduled at 3pm on Thursday, was postponed and Chacko said it is likely to meet next week.

Next date of the meeting will be decided in consultation with other members, reports citing Chacko said..

According to sources, there was no precedent of a JPC report being put to vote but allowing dissent notes was a democratic practice.

"I do not want a voting to take place in the committee and I would request the committee to adopt the report without voting. Those who have different opinion can add dissent note," Chacko told reporters.

"There is no harm in adopting the report unanimously and I will try for that and if members suggest otherwise, I don't know what will happen," he said.

The report had laid the blame for the losses to the public exchequer on account of faulty allocation of spectrum and grant of licences on former telecom minister A Raja, clearing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram of any wrongdoing.

"We have done serious work on this infamous scam and today we are ready with the report and I am very happy and with confidence, I can say that I have prepared a fair report document on the basis of document and deposition before the committee," Chacko said.

He said it was up to the committee to take a final call and he was hopeful that members would accept the report.

The JPC is divided over the culpability of Raja, whose note submitted to the panel has stated that everything he did was in consultation with the prime minister.

"These are occupational hazards. One need not be sad about that and if they feel that they are not satisfied with report and want a no confidence motion they have the freedom to do that," Chacko said.

"I don't know if there is provision for no confidence motion but they have moved a privilege motion against me and notices are given by two members to honourable speaker... And now it is up to the speaker to decide and there is nothing for the committee to worry about it," he said.

The Opposition is also miffed that contents of the draft report were allegedly leaked to the media last week, even before the report was finalised.

"I am not at all bothered about that (dissent). My job is done faithfully and now committee will take a call on that and I am sure that the parliament and country will appreciate our work," he said.

In 2011, the entire winter session of parliament was washed out as the BJP did not allow either house to run till a JPC probe was set up.

The issue came up after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) alleged a presumptive loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences during the UPA-I government 2004-09.


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