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PAC's UPA members accuse Joshi of hidden agenda

Wednesday April 27, 2011 09:39:41 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Sharp differences among the members of parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam spilled into the open Wednesday as its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) MPs alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and panel chairman Murli Manohar Joshi had "a hidden agenda to destabilise the government".

The MPs also said the move to finalise the PAC report Thursday was "undemocratic".

"It appears that he (Joshi) has a hidden agenda to destabilise the government. He should resign," K.S. Rao, a senior Congress member of the PAC, said at a press conference here.

The press meet was also attended by four other PAC members - Tiruchi Siva (DMK), and Congress leaders Saifuddin Soz, Naveen Jindal and K. Sudhakaran.

The UPA members launched their criticism on the eve of PAC's meeting Thursday, when it is scheduled to approve the report on the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

A draft of the 270-page report was circulated among the members Wednesday.

The PAC report, copies of which were accessed by the media, apparently indicts former communications minister A. Raja and criticises Home Minister P. Chidmabaram and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), but absolves Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from direct wrongdoing.

However, the UPA members did not confirm the media reports, saying a "wrong practice (of publication of the draft) has been facilitated".

Rao and other members said the draft had several factual errors.

While senior officials like the cabinet secretary, principal secretary to the prime minister were not examined by the PAC, the report claimed the contrary, they said.

"This shows the report was prepared well in advance with ulterior motives," Jindal said.

While declaring that the they will not approve the report at Thursday's meeting, the UPA members did not reveal their next plan of action -- whether they will record a dissent or demand Joshi's resignation.

"There is no hurry. The next committee can also finalise the report," Soz said.

The term of seven of the 22 members of the PAC expires April 30.





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