Attempt to push bribe under the JPC carpet
JPC will not serve any purpose. Opposition rejects it
THE leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, perhaps projected the real picture while reacting to the government’s determined push to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the multicrore chopper deal, which has its roots in Italy, the home town of the UPA chairperson and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. “ It is an exercise in futility and a diversionary tactic”, Jaitley said.
As the government set up the JPC, BJP led NDA, Telegu Desam Party, AIADMK, Trinamul Congress walked out. The Left parties hemmed and hawed and finally walked, albeit toeing a middle path. The CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member, Sitaram Yechury did not find any justification in setting up of the JPC but at the same time said “if the house so decides to set up a JPC, we will participate.” The CPI Rajya Sabha MP, D.Raja pleaded against setting up the JPC. This of course exposes the Left dilemma.
However, even as the entire Opposition staged a walk out, the government, which in the global media is being termed as the “most corrupt since independence” refused to relent and decided to go ahead with the formation of the 30 member JPC. The constitution of the JPC was adopted through a voice vote.
Constitution of the JPC which might be devoid of any Opposition member, rather the prinicpal Opposition party appears to be completely farcical. It will be an exercise, which will lack credibility. A report in a section of media called it – “ one-way exercise of the Congress and parties supporting it.”
Sensing that the stink of the deal was now reaching the much protected Gandhi dynasty, the Congress is desperate for a cover up. “We suspect the government does not want to know the name of the bribe taker. The government has given the culprits enough time to destroy all evidence. Is the government willing to have a JPC headed by an Opposition MP?” Mr Jaitley asked. Hit by the BJP, which pressed for a Supreme Court-monitored probe, a cornered government tried to convince the Opposition there would be no cover up. The BJP, however, pointed out that “the JPC did not have the authority to search and arrest and the panel would lack the expertise to investigate such a scam.” This sentitment was also echoed by the Left. But then this government led by the Gandhis is known for its brazeness and arrogance. Yet driving the nail Mr Jaitley pointed out that the government of the day was “helpless in collecting information as UK and Italian governments have refused to share details with India.” He wanted to know: “In this backdrop how will the JPC get details? Does the Government hope that the information will fall from heaven?”
He described the move to set up the JCD as a “façade.” He further told the government: “You will never get the names of bribe takers or you do not want to know the names of bribe takers by forming a JPC.” Perhaps the government does not want to know the names and for obvious reasons.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien described the setting up of the JPC as a “political cover up”. AIADMK member V Maitreyan said that “if the government had shown urgency that it is showing for a constituting a JPC in registering an FIR in the case the situation would have been different.”
Incidentally the Parliamentary Affairs minister, Kamal Nath that JPC would submit its report in a three months time. As Mr Jaitley has clrearly pointed out that the so far the Italian government has refused to share details with India” and there is nothing much the government was doing, what kind of report will this JPC have?
Sources in the Congress claimed that the report “will not be submitted in three months, since its not possible.” They argued that it would take more than a year and by that time “elections will be announced.” There will be no raids, no arrests, no names and Congress led government “will get away with another crime,” a BJP leader said. The majority of the JPC members expected to be drawn from the ruling party and its willing allies wold not take any steps to declare the names of the bribe takers. Also they have no authority to go after them. In the 2G case one has already saw that things were decided on political lines.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha pointed out that “in the PAC the Congress abused Chairman in the PAC, in the JPC they wish to misuse the Chairman of the JPC. Taking on Antony, Jaitley said the Defense Minister’s statement reflected a sense of helplessness as two foreign governments were not sharing details of the probe. He said it was a strange case where the identity of the bribe giver and quantum of bribe were known but the identity of the bribe taker is not known.
Known for his honety and integrity, defence ministr, A.K. Antony cut a sorry figure while replying to the discussion on the chopper deal. And Mr Jaitley put his finger at the right place when he said that Antony’s sttlement “reflected a sense of helplessness as two foreign governments were not sharing details of the probe. Mr Jaitley tore into the government and told the defence minister: “The bribe takers were those who swing decisions and play a crucial role. These bribe takers are in India and you cannot run away from it and you have a job to arrest the bribe taker.” The defence minister said he was “ashamed” because of the scam. But is he helpless too?