Wont do anything to denigrate PMO

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 14 2010, 06:56am hrs
Slamming the Opposition for holding up the entire Winter Session of Parliament, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said the UPA government had nothing to hide in the 2G spectrum scam.

Let me reiterate in the clearest terms: our government has nothing to hide, our government has nothing to fear. Our concerns are that we should not undermine established institutions such as the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) and the CBI. Nor should we do anything that will denigrate the institution of the Prime Minister. We cannot sacrifice institutions at the altar of political expediency, she said, addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting here on the last day of the session.

Pointing out that the PAC, CBI and a retired judge were already looking into the 2G scam, Sonia said: It is abundantly clear that the government is determined to get to the root of the matter. It is preposterous to suggest that the government has something to hide or it is shying away from investigation.

The sudden reference to the denigration of the institution of the PM in Sonias speech came as a surprise to many party MPs as they could not make out the context. The ruling camp has been apprehensive that if it accepts a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G scam, the JPC could summon the PM, causing embarrassment to the UPA regime.

Incidentally, while Sonia commenced with what is the issue here to delve into the reasons for the logjam in Parliament, there was no mention of the JPC in her four-page long speech.

I compliment the PM for his wise leadership, for remaining calm amidst the storm, and for his unwavering devotion to the progress and prosperity of the nation. The party stands solidly behind him in his endeavours, said the Congress president.

Lamenting the painful fact that corruption seems to be widespread, Sonia said: I feel strongly that it is our responsibility as well as that of each and every political party to together seriously devise a way a mechanism to curb this growing menace.

She questioned the Oppositions double standards, referring to the rampant corruption in Karnataka, the defence scam during the NDA regime and the rehabilitation of BJP leaders who had been caught on camera taking money. People of India will be entirely justified if they take a dim view of the manner in which the Opposition, especially the principle opposition party, has disrupted every day of the session, Sonia said.

While the Congress president expressed her disappointment at the dismal results in the Bihar polls, there was no reference to the crisis in the Andhra Pradesh. There can be no room for despondency or demoralisation, she said. Our party has faced tremendous challenges in its long history of 125 years and yet it has never lacked in courage and determination to rebuild itself. We will most certainly do that wherever is necessary.