The ado created by the ruling party members in the meeting of the Murli Manohar Joshi-led Parliamentary Accounts Committee, probing 2G spectrum scam, has dented democratic values and Parliamentary precedent. Since its inception, it was obvious that there has been goof on the part of Prime Minister’s Office and consequently former Telecom Minister A Raja got a chance to act arbitrarily. However, the Congress tried to put the name of Prime Minister and his office under wraps. After the scam was unearthed, the Congress leaders along with the Prime Minister tried to explain on the issue there were no irregularities in the allocation of spectrum and the report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was stated wrong regarding a loss of Rs 1.75 lakh crore to the exchequer. Terming the CAG’s report as concocted, the leaders of ruling party said that the revenue loss in the allocation of spectrum was zero. This statement was made by none other than presently Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal who succeeded A Raj. After all, this could not hide the truth. The CBI per se agreed on the revenue loss. The Opposition too mounted pressure on the ruling party and even the Supreme Court started keeping close eye on the investigation carried on by the CBI. Moreover, the revelation of Niira Radia tape also exposed that there was a nexus between telecom companies and Telecom Ministry. Nevertheless, the Apex Court stated that the slackness of the Prime Minister in connection with taking action Raja was shocking.

The Congress could not improve its image and the Central government’s credibility by accepting resignation of Raja because the Supreme Court while hearing the petition of Subramanium Swamy reached the conclusion that despite knowing the misappropriation in allocation of spectrum, the PMO could not tighten noose around Raja. Whatever logic the Congress may put in its defence, it cannot be denied that the PM could not stop Raja from becoming Telecom Minister nor from doing arbitrary deal owing to compulsion of the coalition. Now it is well known that the TV channel owned by Karunanidhi’s wife and daughter was paid by DB Realty and its vertical Swan Telecom bagged spectrum. Generally, the CBI fails to come to conclusion in big scams and scandals, but the spectrum scam is unfolding day by day. The reason is that the Supreme Court itself is keeping close watch on the investigation process.

The ruling party had tried its best not to give importance to the pressure of the Opposition regarding the 2G probe, but it had to surrender when the winter session of Parliament was stalled in the wake of Opposition’s demand for the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe. Sensing the Budget session could be disrupted by the Opposition, the ruling dispensation approved the formation of the JPC. At the same time they wanted PAC to stop investigation of the 2G scam, but PAC chief Dr Murli Manohar Joshi defied it. Dr Joshi known for his relentless stand and perhaps this is the reason that he remained unyielding while the BJP was demanding for the JPC probe and also desired the functioning of PAC to go slow. The work of PAC was in normal progress till April 14, but the protest started brewing when Dr Joshi summoned top brass of the Prime Minister’s office to testify and eventually the Committee was split in two divisions. The MPs of the ruling party relentlessly tried to withhold the PAC from submitting its in its stint. Dr Joshi, instead, defying all odds stuck to his grit of making it appear before the Lok Sabha Speaker by April 30. Finally, he succeeded and submitted the report to Lok Sabha Speaker. With the help of SP and BSP, the Members of Parliament of the ruling party did not only reject the 2G draft report of Dr Joshi, but also elected their chairperson in the PAC meeting. However, all these proceedings were billed to be unconstitutional because they elected their chairman and rejected the report after the PAC meet was disturbed. If the ruling party and the Opposition had agreed to work on consensus, this ugly scene could have been averted. For this messy affair, the ruling party members are accountable and Dr Joshi too could not escape the allegation of showing hurry in this context. His hasty decision on the aforesaid issue is a topic of discussion, but on this ground the MPs of the ruling party will not have liberty to do unconstitutional work. Whatever happened in the PAC meeting has dented the Parliamentary precedent, because they resorted to voting, which was prohibited in the committee and further they elected a Rajya Sabha member as their chairman. This is a sort of making mockery of the Parliamentary traditions. This is the first case where a report of PAC was scrapped by hook or by crook. The MPs of ruling members should be put in the dock for crossing all boundaries while creating the uproar in the PAC meet, as it goes against the Parliamentary dignity. It seems that they did so because they did not want the Committee to report the name of Prime Minister. Had they wished, they would have made their objection as part of the report, but they did not do it.

The fuss created in the PAC meeting has dented the dignity of a powerful committee of the Parliament. The jittery of the Congress is natural but the party cannot be allowed for arbitrariness. Whatever happened in the PAC is enough to indicate that how cumbersome it would be to work cohesively in JPC. The ruling party should understand that the 2G scam is a reality and they should not back out. If the leaders of the ruling party and the Opposition do not focus on punishing the guilty involved in the scam, they will only disappoint the nation. If the Congress wants to get rid of this scam, they need to correct and rectify their measures. If the Congress continues its fight with the Opposition for defending its clean image, the dignity of the party will be affected.