A Raja deposing before JPC on 2G: DMK, Chacko at loggerheads

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PC Chacko
New Delhi, April 2: The DMK has hit out at PC Chacko, chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the 2G spectrum scam, for not allowing former telecom minister A Raja to depose before the panel. The main accused in the 2G scam was elected to the Lok Sabha on a DMK ticket from the Nilgiris constituency in Tamil Nadu.

Despite Raja threatening to go on hunger strike near the Gandhi statue at Gate number 1 of Parliament if the JPC does not call him as a witness, Chacko has not permitted him to testify.

T Siva and TR Baalu who both represent the DMK in the JPC have repeatedly urged that their party colleague be given a chance to present his side of the story, but the JPC chairman is yet to heed the plea.

Irked by this adamant stand, DMK leader TKS Elangovan said on Tuesday that it is not for Chacko to decide who all should be called as witnesses.

"Raja has every right to explain his case because he is the one who was charged, and the entire committee studies the outcome of his signature and his orders. So he has a right to depose before the committee and explain certain things which will make the report a truly purposeful report. So he must be called," Elangovan told the Times Now channel.

The DMK MP noted that in "any parliamentary committee, the chairman has no powers to decide on matters ... It is for the committee to decide on the matters."

Stressing that it "is wrong" if PC Chacko decides not to invite Raja to the JPC, Elangovan cited the Nilgiris MP's letter in which he had sought the panel's permission to depose before it.

"The committee should sit and discuss Raja's letter and decide whether he should be called or not," the DMK leader said.

It is noteworthy that BJP and Left members of the panel have raised the same demand several times. BJP's Yashwant Sinha said on Monday that "it is a very serious omission that the Chairman of JPC is trying to make by not inviting Raja to depose before the JPC."

Sinha lamented that "we are proceeding in a direction where JPC will be used to conceal the truth rather than expose the truth."

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