The confrontation between the Congress and the Opposition came to a head over the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G scam after the latter took the unprecedented step to demand the resignation of PC Chacko as the chairman of the panel.
Rejecting the demand, Congress hit back asking for the removal of the three BJP members from the JPC. Six Congress members of the committee met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Thursday to demand removal of BJP’s Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Ravi Shankar Prasad citing they were in NDA government when the telecom policy was formulated.
Earlier, Opposition members petitioned the Speaker seeking Chacko’s removal and accusing him of being “highly partisan, unfair, prejudicial.”
“He has used the JPC to conceal and subvert the truth,” the letter said. Sources, however, added that this move may yield little result as there is no precedent of removing JPC chairman. “As the Speaker selected the chairman, a motion will have to be passed in parliament for his removal,” said an official.
Both sides, meanwhile, continued efforts to secure a majority in the panel. The cancellation of the crucial JPC meeting on Thursday also came as a relief for both - UPA and the Opposition. Chacko later said that the meeting may be called next week after it was postponed because of sitting Trinamool MP Ambika Banerjee’s death.
While sources added that JD(U) has not lent support to the Opposition’s plan to corner Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G scam, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party kept both sides guessing.
While BJP leader Sushma Swaraj claimed, “No confidence motion against P C Chacko has been moved by a majority of the members of JPC”, CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta said, “Chacko has acted like a Congress agent. He must not preside over the JPC meeting.”