Senior leaders of the BJP walked out of a parliamentary committee meeting today, demanding that they be informed whether the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P Chidambaram will be summoned to answer questions about the telecom scam.
BJP members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee including Yashwant Sinha and Ravi Shankar Prasad want the committee head, P Chacko of the Congress, to decide whether the PM and Finance Minister will be added to the list of witnesses. Till that decision is taken, they say, they will not participate in the committee's sessions. Today, RBI Governor D Subbarao was scheduled to testify about his role as Finance Secretary when the telecom swindle played out.
Last month, the BJP members of the committee had threatened to quit. They say that the PM and Mr Chidambaram must explain why they were unable to intervene when former Telecom Minister A Raja engineered and executed the second-generation or 2G scam - refusing to auction spectrum, Mr Raja followed a first-come-first-serve policy to award licenses for mobile operators. He then allegedly tweaked the process to help some companies jump to the head of the long queue.
Documents show that Mr Subbarao advocated an auction of spectrum. His notes will be used by the BJP to ask the government to explain why the advice of senior bureaucrats was not followed by the Finance Minister.