That the leaked draft report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the 2G scam will be a big issue in Parliament next week was expected. Now the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has made it official. BJP leader LK Advani today slammed the report for exonerating the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P Chidambaram and said it should be rejected entirely.
Mr Advani was speaking after a meeting of NDA leaders to firm up their strategy for the Budget session, which resumes on Monday after a break.
"The JPC was constituted after a lot of pressure from us. But the way the report has been prepared and leaked to a select few in the media is surprising. We were stunned to know from our members in the JPC that there are serious allegations made against Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jaswant Singh and Arun Shourie. We felt outraged at this kind of attitude of the UPA government," Mr Advani said.
The JPC, which was headed by PC Chacko of the Congress, has said in its report that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were unaware of the malpractices committed by former telecom minister A Raja while allotting 2G licences. The BJP says the report has been worded to save Congress leaders in the 2G scam.
Calling the report an "act of unmatched perfidy", Mr Advani said: "The NDA condemns the report and appeals to all members of the JPC to reject it."
Mr Advani asked why Mr Raja - who claims the Prime Minister was aware of all his decisions - had not been allowed to appear before the JPC.
The NDA meeting was held at Mr Advani's residence and attended among others by BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
The Janata Dal (United), whose ties with the BJP have hit a rough patch over Narendra Modi, was represented by Sharad Yadav. From the Shiromani Akali Dal came Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
Shiv Sena leaders were not present. Party chief Uddhav Thackeray is busy with a rally in Maharashtra.