The nomination of controversial MPs Suresh Kalmadi and A Raja to Parliamentary Standing Committees on Wednesday drew flak from BJP, which said it showed that Congress-led UPA was not serious about fighting corruption, but its ally JD(U) did not see anything wrong in it.
A combination photo of A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi.
Congress, however, defended the decision and maintained it is the right of MPs to become members of the Standing Committees.
The BJP said that though Suresh Kalmadi was sent to jail in the Commonwealth Games scam he has been made a member of Parliament's standing committee on external affairs by the Congress.
"This decision was taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi who has nominated Kalmadi to the Standing Committee. The Lok Sabha Speaker has only appended by signature to the decision," Rudy said.
His colleague and BJP spokesperson JP Nadda echoed these views, alleging that Congress is supporting corruption.
"When some cases come they (Congress) try to supress those facts and they are not serious about fighting corruption. Even in the coal block, the Prime Minister is found to be directly involved because he himself was the coal minister," he alleged.
However, BJP's NDA partner JD(U) disagreed with it.
"They are MPs. A Raja is involved in 2G spectrum scam, but he will not be included in the consultative committee of telecom.
Similarly, Kalmadi is facing charges in the area of sports. Their right in the Committees as MPs will remain intact," JD(U) President and NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav said.
Yadav said even the corporate honchos who have become MPs are part of these committees. He cautioned that there should not be a conflict of interest in such cases.
"Government should look at the issue of corporate interest and should not place these people there. Such as a Kingfisher person should not be there in the civil aviation ministry," he said.
Congress felt that Kalmadi and Raja becoming members of the Standing Committees should not be an issue.
"It is the right of a member of Parliament to be on a Committee, whatever may be the charges or allegations. The members are not nominated by their party," Congress spokesperson PC Chacko said.
Chacko, who heads the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha, said every MP is entitled to be on a Committee and he "cannot be denied that privilege".
Asked whether Congress could tell controversial members like Kalmadi not to accept a Parliamentary Committee membership, he said, "I don't think that the party can do that. It is a privilege."
Raja, who represents DMK in the Lok Sabha, has been nominated to the Standing Committee on Energy.
Kalmadi, Congress member of the Lok Sabha, has been nominated to the Standing Committee on External Affairs.
Parliamentary Standing Committees are considered mini-Parliament as they closely scrutinise bills and give suggestions on the proposed legislations.
Raja, who was arrested in connection with the 2G scam on February 2 last year, is on bail since May 15 this year.
Kalmadi also spent about nine months in jail before being released on bail on January 19 this year.