Why JPC?... because Congress gagged us from speaking: Advani
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Addressing BJP MPs from both Houses of Parliament, Advani said, "Initially, we never wanted to raise this issue in such a manner. We started the discussion on the very first day (of the winter session) during Zero Hour and we wanted to discuss the issue through Zero Hour. The Lok Sabha functioned well during Question Hour on that day," Advani, who is the leader of the BJP parliamentary party, said.
He said the decision to demand a JPC was taken when none of the Opposition members was allowed to raise the issue of corruption in Parliament.
"When Swaraj raised this issue of corruption, ruling party and its allies opposed it. Even ministers did not allow her to speak. They never allowed Mulayam Singh Yadav, Basudev Achariya and Gurudas Dasgupta to speak on the corruption issue.
"Ultimately, we decided if they have become adamant, let us have, instead of debate, a JPC. Let the JPC decide the fate of the entire corruption issue," Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia Ahluwalia said quoting Advani.
Ahluwalia told reporters after the meeting that opposition parties may have political and ideological differences among themselves but they are all united on the demand for a JPC probe.
The principal Opposition accused the ruling Congress of targetting those MPs whose constituencies had undergone changes during delimitation to win their support during a previous no-confidence vote.
"This is not the first time they are playing with corruption. When the no-confidence motion came, they targetted those members whose constituencies were disturbed by delimitation," Ahluwalia said.
Ahluwalia maintained that when the Opposition exposed their designs, they suspended the members instead of bringing the guilty to book.
"When we exposed them -- how they managed the whole show, how they managed the Privileges Committee and how they manipulated everything... instead of punishing the culprits," the BJP MP said.
The party alleged that the Congress was now "covering up", as was visible in the case of appointment of CVC P J Thomas.
"All political parties are demanding we want JPC. Till we get a JPC we will not cooperate," he said.
Reiterating its demand for a JPC, BJP also said the PAC was not equipped to deal with all aspects of the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
"For example, the Niira Radia tapes are there. Can Radia tapes be discussed or investigated by PAC because there is no mention of Radia tapes in the CAG report? But, of course, in the affidavit of the CBI in the 2G spectrum case, the Radia tapes are mentioned. That there are 5,811 conversation," Ahluwalia said.
He alleged that about 2,000 hours of conversation in the tapes show how the Union Cabinet was formed and how portfolios were allocated.
"On the advice of the PM, a council of ministers is constituted. But who was advising the PM? If you go through the Radia tapes you can know which person can become the Communications Minister and who will benefit whom. Those people were lobbying. Are we going to allow the lobbyists to form the Cabinet? It should be investigated and you can do so through JPC and not PAC," Ahluwalia said.
He maintained that anybody, including the PM, could be summoned by the JPC if it felt they are involved in the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
Meanwhile, in remarks that could embarrass the UPA coalition, the Trinamool Congress today said it supported a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam but would leave a decision on the matter to the government.
"If the government agrees for a JPC, it is good... but we will support the government in whatever stand it and the Prime Minister take. We believe the Prime Minister is honest," the party's Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told reporters here.
"We want the deadlock in Parliament to end. If JPC is formed, it is good. But we are with the government," he said. Bandopadhyay criticised the Opposition for "disrupting" Parliament, saying: "We want the Houses to run."
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