BJP MPs storm out of 2G JPC

New Delhi, August 22,: Massive differences cropped up during the meeting of  the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing 2G telecom spectrum scam, leading to walkout by the BJP members on Wednesday.

The BJP members alleged that when they insisted on calling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to depose before the panel, the Congress members used ‘foul’ language.

Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Gopinath Munde walked out of the meeting which was expected to finalise the list of persons who would depose before the committee.

The walk-out sparked off speculation that the miffed BJP members may tender their resignation from the JPC on Thursday. “We will take a call on resignation,” Yashwant Sinha, who led the walkout, said.

However, Congress sources said walkout  was nothing but pressure tactics by the BJP to mount pressure on the Prime Minister to resign in the wake of the ‘coal scam’.

The exit of the five members from the 30-member committee will not hamper its work, as the panel will still have a majority. The JPC has 30 members -- 20 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha -- representing different parties. The issue, however, will be whether the panel report would be fair when the principal Opposition party refuses to participate in it. Also, the main Opposition quitting the panel would be glaring in parliamentary democracy.  

The meeting turned stormy when the BJP members kept insisting that the chairman finalise the list comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, former Telecom Minister A Raja, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister's Office Pulok Chatterjee and Advisor to the Prime Minister T K A Nair, to appear before the committee.

Upset over the demand, Congress member Manish Tiwari reportedly said the meeting was turning out to be a ‘kangaroo court’ (mock court without any regard for principles of justice). The remark was strongly objected to by CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta and the BJP members, and the latter stormed out.

"We walked out of the meeting after Congress members used foul language as we demanded settling the issue of list of witnesses which has been pending for eight weeks now,” Sinha told reporters after the walkout.

However, Tiwari denied using any unparliamentarily language in the meeting. Alleging that the BJP was predetermined to boycott the meeting, Tiwari said the BJP members were trying to use the platform for political gain.

Even JPC chairman P C Chacko, who termed the BJP decision political, said no unparliamentarily language was used.

“The walk-out is surprising at a time when the committee was still in the process of finalising  the list,” he said.

On the issue of calling the prime minister and finance minister, the Congress has suggested that questionnaires be sent to them rather than calling them for deposition.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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