The rift in the public accounts committee (PAC) deepened on Thursday amid indications that the Congress and the DMK members do not want chairman MM Joshi to finalise the panel’s report on the 2G scam before its term ends this month.
After hearing witnesses over several weeks, the UPA members for the second time in a week questioned the continuance of the PAC inquiry into 2G spectrum scam when the matter was subjudice and a joint parliamentary committee will go into the issue.
Last week, they had used these arguments to force the panel to cancel depositions by cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekhar, principal secretary to the Prime Minister TKA Nair and attorney general GE Vahanvati, prompting others to murmur that the probe was being scuttled because of the "nature of witnesses.''
At the centre of the faceoff are the Congress-DMK fears that the panel may finalise its report before April 30 when they want the new committee, which takes charge on May 1, to do so.
They argued that they need time to study the documents provided by witnesses, including the voluminous responses from the PMO to the panel's questionnaires, and cannot be hurried.
Others maintain that the panel has done a lot of work and should be allowed to prepare its report before April 30 as originally planned.
Despite the Congress-DMK objections, the panel can still go ahead with the report.
There are apprehensions that leaving it to the new panel, which would have half a dozen new members, would add to the growing uncertainty.