PM, finance minister should appear before JPC, demands BJP

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram appear before a parliamentary panel probing the 2G spectrum allocations even as it accused the Congress of adopting "obstructionist methods" in its work.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the prime minister should keep his offer - made at the Burari conclave of Congress in 2010 - to appear before the public accounts committee which was then examining the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the 2G scam.

She said the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) had been set up to look into specific instances of corruption and establish accountability of the executive on the 2G spectrum allocations.

Since former communications minister A. Raja maintained that the prime minister and then finance minister were "privy to decisions" concerning the 2G spectrum allocations, they should appear before it, she said.

"Prime minister, finance minister (should) appear before JPC. Congress should give up its obstructionist methods," she said.

Sitharaman said JPC had not met for several weeks even as Raja had repeatedly requested that he should be allowed to appear before the panel.

"You don't allow it," she accused the Congress.

She defended the letter written by party MP Yashwant Sinha in which he asked the prime minister to appear before the JPC to clear his name following Raja's communication to the committee.

In the letter, Sinha said any hesitation on part of prime minister to appear before the JPC will prove that he had "something to hide" and claimed that Raja had levelled serious allegations against the prime minister and finance minister in his communications to the JPC.

Sinha had also said in the letter that prime minister may suggest to the finance minister to make an offer to appear before JPC and also request JPC chairman P.C. Chacko to call Raja as a witness before the committee.

Sitharaman attacked the Congress over its remarks concerning Sinha's letter.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had told a TV news channel that Sinha should have articulated his views wiithin the confines of that committee.

Sitharaman said Sinha had to send the letter "because of the way the JPC was being stalled by Congress".

Referring to some reported remarks of Chacko pertaining to demand of Raja to appear before JPC, she said these raised questions.