The $39 billion telecom scam that has embroiled dozens of Indian businessmen and politicians has finally reached the Prime Minister’s office.A report from the Public Accounts Committee indicted former telecom Minister A. Raja and was critical of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and others in the coalition government.
The committee censured the Indian prime minister for his “desire” to distance his office from the scandal, it also found that his office gave Raja an “indirect green signal”, according to The Times of India. It also censured former finance minister P Chidambaram for asking the prime minister to “treat the matter as closed”.
This report caused chaos in on Parliament, where it was rejected by a committee on the scam, according to The Economic Times.
The PAC met with members of Parliament to discuss the report but the chairman of the committee was attacked for attempting to destabilize the government and 11 MPs voted to reject the report. The chairman Murli Manohar Joshi adjourned the meeting at 2 pm to reconvene two hours later on Thursday.
Joshi eventually adjourned the meeting for its lack of order and walked-out, following which the MPs held an independent meeting, elected their own chairman and rejected the report. The resolution was submitted to the speaker of the Lok Sabha or the lower house of the Parliament.
Typically the government has to accept recommendations of the PAC, but in instances where the majority in the committee decides against presentation of the report the chairman is expected to go by the majority vote. It remains unclear how the investigation will proceed.
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