Now, Joshi advises Chacko: Write to us

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 17 2011, 05:56am hrs
A day after PC Chacko queered the pitch for a turf row with him, PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi drew him into a procedural quagmire here on Wednesday. Responding to the advice of Chacko, the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the 2G Spectrum scam, that the PAC confine itself to the CAG report on the matter, Joshi came out with a counter-advice to him: Write to us.

He (Chacko) is a senior and seasoned Member of Parliament, and if he has any suggestions or observations to make about the PAC he better write to us. I will take into consideration when such a communication reaches me, Joshi said while answering questions from the media.

Chacko's position is at variance with what Joshi has maintained so far. Joshi holds the view that the PAC has very wide-ranging powers, which go beyond just examining CAG reports. The committee, he has stated, can call anyone or seek any document which it considers necessary for going into an issue. The PAC has already obtained the assistance of the CBI director, three journalists and several serving and retired senior government officers in connection with the 2G scam probe.

Chacko, who was quite liberal in his advice to the PAC yesterday, was equally restrained today. He accepted Joshi's suggestion and said he would write to the PAC chairman today itself. I will definitely write to himit is a good suggestion. I take it in true spirit, Chacko emphasised. When asked if he still held the view that that there was no need for a parallel inquiry, he said, Probably, Mr Joshi also understands that. That is why he did not deny what I had said; he only said that I should write to him. The only thing is procedural -- whether I should make a statement outside or write. He is right and I will write to him. When asked if he acknowledged that his going public on the issue was a mistake, Chacko said, It was not. When you ask me what I am going to do, I have to react, he said. He did not call a press conference.

The JPC, according to Chacko, would take a view on the mandate of the PAC and the work assigned to the JPC when it would hold the first meeting on March 24. Endorsing this view, BJP deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha and a JPC member S S Ahluwalia told the media in reply to questions that Chacko was airing his own views. We will form an opinion only when the JPC meets on March 24, he said.