BJP and some other opposition parties are ganging up to corner the government in the JPC probing the 2G issue by planning to force a vote on the controversial draft report that gave clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.
With the 30-member committee almost equally divided,the role of SP,BSP,AIADMK and Trinamool Congress having a total of five MPs in the panel is being watched ahead of the meeting on April 25.
While Congress has 11 members,including the committee chief P C Chacko,its ally NCP has one. BJP has six members and NDA ally JD(U) two. DMK and BSP have two members each,while SP,BJD,TMC,AIADMK,CPI and CPI-M have one member each in the JPC.
Yashwant Sinha of the BJP,who has been spearheading the attack on the government and Chacko,and T R Baalu of the estranged Congress ally DMK are in touch with other parties like BJD and the Left to oppose the draft report.
The DMK is making common cause with the BJP and others in the context of the draft report pinning the blame on former telecom minister and its MP A Raja without giving him an opportunity of being heard.
Ahead of its Thursday meeting which has been convened to adopt the draft report,a top leader of the opposition gave indications that the opposition will press for a vote on the draft report.
Sources in the Opposition,however,are not fully confident of the position that will be taken by SP and BSP,which provide outside support to the government,and whether they would choose to embarrass the government.
Government managers are dismissive of Opposition plans contending that JPC reports are adopted by consensus and those opposed to it can give their dissent note.
Sensing the opposition mood,Congress today sought to pacify an angry BJP.
Chacko,who is also Congress spokesperson,today dismissed reports that the panel has named former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in its draft report.
“We have the highest regard for Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This report has not mentioned the name of Vajpayee. We have not made any reference to the former Prime Minister,” Chacko insisted.
SP sources said that Yadav told the Parliamentary Party meeting here today that it was not proper that Raja was not called for deposition before the JPC despite him being the number one accused in the multi-crore scam.
“You even ask the last wish of a condemned prisoner and even in courts,the accused is given a chance to put forth his version,” Yadav is reported to have told the party MPs.
He also said that Raja should have been called before the JPC and without his personal deposition,the draft report was “one sided”. However,Yadav will take a final call on SP’s stand on April 25 morning.
His remarks are significant as intense efforts are on by both the BJP and the Congress to harness support in the committee.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said if the original draft of the JPC report is not reviewed,a major confrontation is likely between the government and the opposition in Parliament.
“There is a vertical split in the JPC… an effort has been made to paint the corrupt as honest and the honest as corrupt,” he said.