The government on Friday managed to have its way in the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G spectrum scandal when the panel approved the draft report giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram with a 16-11 vote in its favour.
Outside allies BSP (2) and SP (one), voted with 14 others of the ruling coalition to approve the report that accused former Telecom Minister A. Raja of “misleading” the Prime Minister and “belying” the assurances given to him.
JPC chairman P.C. Chacko told reporters after the meeting that all those who voted against the draft report would be given 15 days to file their dissent report.
Of the total 30 members in the committee, three members, including one from the BJP, were absent. Of the 27 present, the ruling side got the votes of Congress (11), NCP (one), BSP (2), SP (1) and Nominated member Ashok Ganguly.
Attacking the outcome, BJP leader and member of the committee Yashwant Sinha said a contrived majority has been “unashamedly” used to adopt a report based on “wrong facts, falsehood and prejudicial” findings without the consideration of the committee.
The opposition votes were made up of the BJP’s 5 and one each of the BJD, the TMC, the CPI, the CPI (M), the AIADMK and the DMK.
The draft report of the JPC also rubbishes the loss figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore estimated by CAG, saying it was “ill-conceived”.
The report, which was circulated among members in April also accuses Mr. Raja of forging the press note of January 7, 2008 after it was seen by the then Solicitor-General G.E. Vahanvati.
“The committee wishes to point out that the procedure regarding the First-Come-First-Served (FCFS) criteria was a “misrepresentation of facts and in tactic deviation from the existing procedure,” it says.