BJP leader M.M. Joshi rejects charge of influencing CAG's 2G report
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Public Accounts Committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday rejected charges and accusations of the government and former CAG official R.P. Singh, that he had influenced the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report on 2G spectrum allocation.
Joshi told media outside Parliament, as the second day of the winter session of Parliament was adjourned temporarily that: "It is the last attempt by the government to cover up corruption in which it is steeped in right till its neck."
He asked "Why didn't R.P. Singh take up this matter while he was in the CAG? After retirement he is making such claims. It is a campaign to malign the CAG and the PAC."
He also rubbished the Congress' demand for a probe in the matter, describing it as an absurd request.
Singh, an ex-officer of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), has claimed that he was forced to sign the controversial report on the 2G spectrum allocation.
The Indian Express reported on Friday that Singh, former director general, Post and Telecommunications at CAG, claimed that he was made to sign the controversial report that pegged the 2G scam presumptive loss at a whopping Rs 1.76 lakh crores, even though he had disagreement with the report's findings.
Singh, who was the officer behind the CAG's 2G spectrum allocation audit, revealed that officials of the auditor had met Joshi, at his residence on a holiday to assist him in the preparation of the report on the 2G spectrum allocation.
Singh said that CAG officials had paid a visit to Joshi's house on the Good Friday holiday on April 22, 2011.
"I got to know from my team members that CAG officials including senior CAG officials from headquarters went to the PAC chairman's residence and assisted him in preparing the PAC report. I cannot say with certainty what exactly transpired at the meeting," Singh told The Indian Express.
Asked if there was an attempt by the PAC chairman to influence the outcome of the CAG's 2G report before it was tabled in Parliament, Singh said "it appears" from a note prepared by RB Sinha, D-G at CAG headquarters, that there were "some telephone calls by the PAC chairman to access the 2G report which was under preparation".
Reacting to the revelations, the Congress accused the BJP of misusing the CAG.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) Manish Tewari said both the CAG and PAC chairman should reply to the charges. Issues raised by R.P. Singh should be probed, he added.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the claims needed to be probed.
CPI leader D. Raja said Joshi owes an explanation to the nation.