BJP and NDA members of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Monday kept away from its first meeting, convened by its chairperson and expelled leader Jaswant Singh who has rejected the party's demand for stepping down from the post.
Yashwant Sinha and Gopinath Munde, BJP MPs in the Lok Sabha, kept away from the PAC meeting citing prior engagements. Sinha is away in Jharkhand on a tour of his constituency Hazaribagh and adjoining areas and expressed his inability to attend.
Sources close to Munde, who is in Maharashtra and was prevented by authorities from entering Sangli where communal clashes took place, said he was busy with the campaigning for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state.
Shanta Kumar and Narayan Singh Kesari, BJP's representative in the PAC from the Rajya Sabha, also did not attend.
Some NDA leaders including Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena) and Sharad Joshi (Swatantra Bharat Paksh) also skipped the meeting.
While BJP leaders, preferring anonymity, said the party had not formally ordered its members to skip the meeting, they will keep away from the PAC activities till some progress is made in Jaswant Singh's case.
BJP faced an embarrassing situation when Jaswant Singh rejected its request that he step down from PAC Chairpersonship as he had been expelled by the party.
As per the rules, he cannot be removed unless the Speaker finds him unable to discharge his duties.