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Congress to oppose BJP pick for JPC

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2011 02:08 IST
Saroj Nagi
Saroj Nagi
Hindustan Times
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The Congress will oppose the inclusion of senior BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha in the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum scam.

The two leaders were associated with the NDA's telecom policy which is now part of the JPC's terms of reference. The panel will examine the telecom policy since 1998.

“Their inclusion is a conflict of interest. How can the people who were associated with the telecom policy examine the same policy in the JPC? The BJP should not have nominated them to the panel. In fact, these two leaders should have declined to join the committee,” said a senior Congress leader, alleging that the duo could influence the deliberations of the JPC.

In the normal course, these leaders, perhaps, would have been summoned by the JPC to give evidence as people involved in formulating the NDA’s telecom policy.

Both Sinha and Singh had headed the group of ministers (GoM) on telecom as finance ministers in 1999 and 2003. In fact, Singh's GoM had also included Sinha, who had by then become external affairs minister, as well as Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is now the BJP's nominee to the JPC from the Rajya Sabha.

So, will these leaders be asked to recuse when the panel takes up the telecom issues relating to the NDA rule?

“We will certainly raise the issue,” said the Congress leader. His contention that any discussion cannot be segmented was an indication that the party would want them to recuse themselves from a major part of the panel's deliberations.