Governments, especially ones formed by complex coalitions, are often less than capable of curbing ministerial malfeasance. As a result, inquiries with a wide ambit into such issues have political consequences that are potentially dangerous, for that government, that is.
The United Progressive Alliance government’s obdurate resistance to a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scandal stems from similar concerns.
The danger now is from a different quarter. If the government continues to stonewall the Opposition’s demand for a JPC, it will lead to an impression that there is something it wants to hide. This, as opposed to giving in to a JPC, will have higher political costs. Even if public memory in India is short, the more the matter is delayed, the higher the risk that citizens will remember the episode long enough to cause political?damage.