The opposition is up in arms against a draft report by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the 2G scam which clears both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram of involvement in the cheap selling of spectrum in 2008.
The opposition is virtually certain to disrupt Parliament when it reconvenes next week over the draft report, which while questioning the Comptroller & Auditor General's estimate that the exchequer lost Rs1.76 lakh from the sale of spectrum without auction.
The Congress-led JPC said the CAG report was based on doubtful premises, and did not take into account the socio-economic benefits of the wide spread of mobile telephony.
At the same time the draft report puts the entire onus for mis-selling of spectrum on the then telecom minister Andimuthu Raja, whose Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party remains a constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre.
Raja claimed on Friday – as he has consistently done – that the prime minister and the finance minister were always kept in the loop about the spectrum sale process, and that he is being victimised.
Opposition members of the JPC have declared that they will oppose the draft report, which they say is one-sided.
Even neutral observers agree that while the loss figures estimated by the CAG are highly exaggerated, the JPC's refusal to allow Raja to testify before the JPC - despite his several assertions that he is ready and even keen to do so - looks suspicious.
And as a commentator adds, ''If neither the prime minister nor the finance minister was aware of how the telecom minister was manipulating spectrum sales, it reflects very poorly on the government's functioning. In fact it boggles the imagination – any union minister can carry out any scam, with the rest of the cabinet blissfully unaware.''
Briefly, the draft report of the JPC – led by P C Chacko of the Congress – slams the CAG for vastly exaggerating the loss caused by the 2008 spectrum sales; and also targets the previous National Democratic Alliance government led by the BJP saying any mis-selling of spectrum happened under its government.