A Raja should be called to depose before JPC on 2G: Sinha

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A Raja
New Delhi, April 1: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that is looking into the 2G spectrum scam must allow former telecom minister A Raja to appear as a witness, stressed BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

He told newsperspons here on Monday that PC Chacko who is serving as the JPC chairman does not seem interested in finding out why Raja has been seeking to depose before the committee.

Sinha is planning to apprise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar that the former telecom minister should be permitted to testify.

Incidentally, Raja had even threatened to sit on fast in front of the Gandhi statue at Parliament's Gate number 1 if Chacko does not call him as a witness.

According to Sinha, Raja had written in this regard to Chacko several times but to no avail. "I saw in my mail a letter from A Raja to Chacko which casts serious doubts about the JPC's intention and in that letter Raja says he has written three or four letters to Chacko and in his replies, the JPC Chairman just acknowledges his letters and said nothing about his coming before the panel as a witness," Sinha noted.

Though Raja was finally allowed to make a submission in writing to the JPC last month, Sinha feels "it is a very serious omission that the Chairman of JPC is trying to make by not inviting Raja to depose before the JPC. Raja is right in casting aspersions on the intentions of JPC."

The BJP leader slammed Chacko for ignoring the pleas of several JPC members who felt that the Nilgiris MP should be given a chance to present his version. Apart from BJP and Left MPs, members belonging to Raja's party had also asked Chacko to let the former telecom minister become a witness. T Siva and TR Baalu, both of the DMK, strongly argued that Raja should be called to depose before the panel.

Since Chacko has not agreed to their demand, Sinha said on Monday that "we are proceeding in a direction where JPC will be used to conceal the truth rather than expose the truth... Unfortunately, the Chairman of JPC, despite our requests, he is not calling a meeting of the panel so that matter could be thrashed out in such a meeting."

Sinha added that he will soon send letters to the Prime Minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker, making it clear to them that "the intention with which JPC was formed is not going to be fulfilled if we do not call the witnesses who are willing to appear and ready to appear before the JPC."

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