The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing the 2G scam is likely to settle for retaining heavyweight bureaucrats and legal experts as witnesses, ignoring the BJP's demand to call Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram before the panel.
With the BJP opting to walk out of JPC meetings, UPA members seem to have arrived at a settlement, with the non-BJP opposition on preparing the list of witnesses. Accordingly, attorney general Ghoolam E Vahanvati will appear before the probe panel during its next meeting on October 3.
Former cabinet secretary KM Chadrasekhar is likely to be next in line, along with serving secretaries in the telecom and law ministries.
"This is for the first time that the attorney general will appear before a JPC," said CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta, a member of the panel.
The non-BJP opposition leaders have also asked JPC chairman and Congress MP PC Chacko to finalise the list of remaining witnesses. This effectively rules out any possibility of the PM or FM's appearance before the panel.
Even as seeking a written reply from Chidambaram remains open before the panel, non-BJP opposition parties-mainly the Left and the AIADMK-is keen on seeing that the JPC finalises its report, and the long exercise reaches a logical conclusion.
"We disrupted an entire Parliament session (winter session of 2010) to force the government to accept a JPC. Now, if we boycott it or jeopardise the proceedings, it would be a political blunder," said a non-BJP opposition member of the panel.