‘Congress has something to hide, so it is avoiding a JPC’

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BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar tells Kunal Majumder his party will launch street protests against the Congress

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Doesn’t the BJP feel guilty about stalling the winter session of Parliament?
No, it is the Congress that is responsible because of its cheap, intolerant and undemocratic attitude.

How can you call the Congress undemocratic?
More than two-thirds of the MPs were asking for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the 2G spectrum scam. The House was in favour of a JPC, which the Congress rejected. That’s why they are undemocratic. They are stubborn because they have something to hide. They haven’t provided one good reason why there shouldn’t be a JPC. They say that a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is looking into the matter, but its mandate is limited to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report. It cannot cover the Niira Radia tapes, appointment of ministers and how lobbyists work. There are also the Commonwealth Games and Adarsh Society scams. We want a JPC to probe all three. Parties across the political spectrum, be it the Left, Right or Centre, are demanding a JPC.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj has said this impasse might spill over into the Budget session. Is this how a Parliamentary democracy functions?
That is the responsibility of the government. It should have taken all the parties into confidence.

Corruption is a major issue, but is stalling Parliament the only way to tackle it?
The country is agitated. Enough is enough. People want action against the guilty. These are massive corruption allegations and the prime minister cannot shy away from his responsibility. These scams have many beneficiaries. To hide the truth, the Congress is hell-bent on stalling a JPC probe.

So, how will agitating on the streets help?
What else can we do in a democratic country? We can only protest. We will launch protests similar to those held in 1974 under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan and the 1987 protest after the Bofors scandal.

BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi is handling the PAC probe into the 2G scam. Don’t you have any faith in him?
The PAC has a limited mandate. It can only work with the CAG report. The CAG has given a preliminary report on the Commonwealth Games scams but there is no report on the Adarsh Society scam. So how will the PAC go about the investigation?

Ratan Tata has hinted that the telecom mess goes back to the NDA days. What’s your reaction?
We are not interested in this public squabble between the telecom operators. The JPC has to look into what everybody has to say on the matter.

Are you OK with a probe into all telecom deals, starting with the NDA government?
The government can conduct a probe from 1994 onwards. We have nothing to hide.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s comments about slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare have created a controversy. Wasn’t the BJP against a probe into Hindu terror?
Now, Ajmal Kasab will say that Digvijaya Singh is his witness. We never had problems with terror probes. We don’t identify terror as Hindu or Muslim. That is just communal politics played by the Congress.

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