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Pulling the lid off ‘cover up’ report

Strange, but true, that in India, probes to probe the ‘official probes’ are the need of the hour. With the draft of the Joint Parliamentary Committee report on the 2G spectrum scam (that has been ‘leaked’ to the media) giving a clean chit to prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram, it’s time to wonder whether there’s any substance in the chest-thumping that former telecom minister A Raja has resorted to. The report compiled by the JPC, that is led by Congress member P C Chacko, puts the blame solely on Raja, who is the main accused in 1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam, saying that the DMK minister has ‘misled’ the PM and FM by tweaking the auction policies of allocating the spectrum on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis to facilitate ineligible companies bag cheap cheap mobile phone network licenses with second-wave or 2G airwaves given out for free. The JPC draft report also says that the PM and the FM played no role in making the significant policy changes that caused a revenue loss of humongous proportions to the government exchequer. Raja, however, rejects the claim asserting that he ‘did everything in consultation with the prime minister,’ and that both the senior Congress-men and eminent ministers of the UPA government were ‘in the loop’ about the policies he followed when allocating the mobile network licenses and second generation 2G airwaves in 2008.

Obviously, this has struck the hornets’ nest in the political circles, with BJP, DMK and the Left parties slamming the JPC draft, saying that they would ‘issue their voices of dissent’ in separate notes to the swindle. Interestingly, why the disgraced former telecom minister has not been allowed to testify before the JPC and why his ‘100-page-note’ has not been taken into consideration, is a matter that is raising the eyebrows in the media and political fraternity at large. While BJP is all out to label the repot as a ‘Congress document’, micromanaged to protect the top bosses of the party and the government, the Left has also been equally vocal in criticising the ‘cover up’ orchestrated in the name of filing the probe report. The fact that Gurudas Dasgupta, CPI leader and a member of the 30-strong JPC, has proclaimed that the draft report is ‘absolutely contrary to the facts revealed’ is a peg on which several questions hang bewilderingly. Why is Raja not being allowed to send in his notes? Why is a Congress leader PC Chacko heading the JPC probe? Why, even though their own party members are in the witness box, are the JPC members not rising above political affiliations and bringing out an unbiased account? Will the top brass of the UPA government be affected, although they have long been claiming that they have nothing to hide? In this sense, are the workings of the Indian system of parliamentary democracy in robust health, or do we now need to dig into the diggers of corruption?
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