I am not afraid of appearing before JPC: PM

NEW DELHI: In the clearest signal that Government is ready for a Joint Parliament Committee probe on the 2G scam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that he is not afraid of appearing before the panel.

Asked during an interaction with television editors whether the government would agree to the JPC on 2G scam, he said “full efforts are being undertaken to see that some way will be found (to ensure that Parliament functions). I hope it will happen.”

He also dismissed impression that he was blocking agreement on the issue between the government and the opposition as he did not want to appear before a JPC.

“My position is that I am not afraid of appearing before any committee. The PAC is a joint parliamentary committee, presided over a senior member of the opposition,” he said.

Singh had offered to appear before the PAC looking into various aspects of the 2G scam. The panel is headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

“I am fully prepared to appear before any committee including a JPC. It is entirely wrong for an impression to go that I was the one blocking it because I am afraid of appearing before it. My conduct as a Prime Minister must be like Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion. I am quite prepared to appear before any committee that may go into this”, he said.

The remarks come a week after the all party meeting chaired by UPA’s trouble shooter Pranab Mukherjee on February 8 in which broad indications emerged on the possibility of formation of a JPC to look into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

The winter session of Parliament was a complete washout with the opposition insisting on a JPC and the government unwilling to relent.

The Prime Minister also referred to his earlier remarks made during the Congress Plenary in December last year in which he had offered to appear before the PAC if required.

“The PAC is the giant committee presided over by a very senior leader of the opposition and I have publicly declared my willingness to appear before it,” Singh said.

Singh expressed confidence that the next session will be “orderly” and the government will also be able to put before Parliament important legislations apart from the budget.

“We are making honest efforts to ensure that,” he said adding “talks are going on with opposition parties”.

Noting that he has “not been able to understand” reasons for which Parliament was not allowed to function in the winter session, he said that it should be allowed to transact its business despite differences between the government and the opposition.

-PTI

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