Cong reacts cautiously to CAG criticism of Sibal

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Congress today chose to remainsilent on attack on on Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal by CAG andPAC on the issue of the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.

"A procedure is on-going. CAG''s view-point has beenpresented. Government''s view is also in public domain and PAChas a view on it...With all three views now in public domain,let appropriate bodies decide," party spokesperson AbhishekSinghvi told reporters.

The CAG and PAC have criticised Sibal for his attack onthe national audit body and its findings in 2G spectrumallocation.

Congress had earlier come out in strong defence of Sibalslamming the CAG findings a few days back.

In contrast, Singhvi today reacted cautiously to repeatedquestions on whether Sibal was correct in his criticism of theCAG report and whether what Sibal said was the party view.

"That chapter is over is unnecessary to make anymore comments on it. Views of all the parties are in publicspace and a decision would be taken," was his refrain whenasked whether it was correct for a Union Minister to slamthe report of a constitutional body.

He said "PAC has made a unanimous comment. Why shouldanybody say anything and queer the pitch. Whatever we had tosay on the issue in the public space, we have already said".

In the PAC meeting yesterday, a senior Congress memberhad raised objections when members were critical of the attackby Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on the CAG and its findings inthe 2G spectrum allocation.

A Congress MP, a former minister, claimed that remarks ofSibal and party spokesman Manish Tewari critical of the CAGwas not the stated position of the party.

Sources said PAC chairman M M Joshi confronted the MPwith Tewari''s statement and also produced a CD containingSibal''s remarks in a television interview suggesting that theCAG had leaked the 2G spectrum findings.

Tewari had said it was improper for the CAG to make the2G report public before it was tabled in Parliament.

Sibal had last week challenged the CAG''s report on the 2Gspectrum scam, saying the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crorepresumptive loss was "utterly erroneous".

Hitting out at Sibal and others, the CAG yesterday saidthat public statements on its report on 2G spectrum are"highly improper" as the matter is under consideration of aParliamentary Committee.

The Minister''s view was supported by Congress MP andspokesperson Manish Tewari, who lashed out the CAG forallegedly violating canons of Parliamentary propriety.

"The CAG after holding a live press conference on 2GSpectrum issue is now advising MPs not to comment on itbecause the matter is being considered by PAC," Tewari hadsaid on Tuesday.

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