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JPC gives clean chit to PM, FM in 2G scam, Oppn protests

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 18, 2013
First Published: 21:10 IST(18/4/2013) | Last Updated: 22:19 IST(19/4/2013)

The draft report of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) has reportedly cleared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum scam but that may not be enough as the UPA lacks majority in the panel.

After the exit of the Trinamool Congress and DMK, the UPA numbers are down to 12 in the 30-member panel. Its outside supporters, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, have a member each while the opposition (including the Trinamool and DMK) has 16 members.

The draft report also trashes the Rs. 1.76 lakh crore presumptive loss computed by the comptroller and auditor general, sources said. Chapter 7 of the report argues that the national auditor adopted wrong methodology to calculate presumptive losses.

Neither the PM nor the finance minister were aware of Raja's dubious decisions, claims the draft report, which  is also unlikely to accept attorney general GE Vahanvati's argument that he was not kept in the loop by then telecom minister A Raja. Some telecom policies during the NDA tenure may also come in for criticism.

The opposition has already made its displeasure known. "The JPC has acted along political lines. We will oppose this report," said CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta. Samajwadi Party was non-committal. "I am yet to see the draft report," said party leader Shailendra Kumar.

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