Friday, April 26, 2013

BJP bitter with Congress on Vajpayee's name being dragged into draft JPC report

New Delhi: BJP at its weekly parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday was “anguished and angry”, “disturbed and distressed” that its tallest, and now ailing, leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been blamed in the “leaked” draft report of joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on 2G spectrum allocation controversy, along with two of its upright ministers at the time, Jaswant Singh (finance) and Arun Shourie (telecom). And the main opposition party has made it clear that there was no scope for helping the government with is legislative agenda, which includes important biils related to food security, land acquisition and finance when it is sensitive towards its icons like Vajpayee. Briefing media, deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said the references to Vajpayee in the report which was now with the media were “ unfounded, unwarranted, baseless inferences”. He said that the 1999 New Telecom Policy was the foundation of the telecom revolution in the country He said thast the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had interrgoated Jaswant Singh Arun Shourie but they did not find anything. Prasad rejected JPC chairman P.C.Chacko's defense that there was no reference to Vajpayee in the report. Prasad pointed out that “then Prime Minister” was a reference to Vajpayee and so were the phrases “then Finance Minister” and “then Telecom Minister”. While refusing to divulge the party's stance in the JPC meeting on April 25, Prasad made it clear that the party is not inclined to help the government out in any way. JPC chairman Chacko who is also the Congress spokesman told media that he hoped that the opposition parties, including the BJP, would help in pushing “pro-poor” legislation. The BJP also feels that the Congress has been shielding law minister Ashwini Kumar. Prasad said that according to parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath, Ashwini Kumar was merely correcting the “grammatical errors” of the status report that the CBI was to have presented to the Supreme Court. Prasad found the explanation incredible. He remarked with barely concealed sarcasm that the BJP would like to see the version that has been corrected under the English tutor, that is the law minister and the original version. The BJP is accusing the government that the law minister and officials in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) have been manipulating the CBI affidavit. BJP at the moment is unhappy and even bitter with the government's cavalier attitude towards high profile cases like the 2G spectrum and coal block allocations, and it feels that it is not obliged to help the government in any way.

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