The government on Friday rejected the BJP’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement on Friday. There were high-decibel protests as the two sides traded charges and both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned repeatedly.
In the Lower House, Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee firmly rejected the demand for the JPC, maintaining that the proposed mechanism did not have any official status and was an “internal arrangement’’ between the UPA and its allies.
“They are only raising the JPC issue to disrupt proceedings,” alleged Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
The BJP, however, persisted with its demand that the government withdraw the proposed panel, alleging that the UPA was turning a “national issue into a party matter”.
The sentiments was echoed by the Janata Dal (United). “A national issue cannot be resolved as a family matter,” said JD(U)’s Prabhunath Singh.
The BJP’s VK Malhotra even gave notice of a breach of privilege against Mukherjee for announcing the UPA-Left panel outside Parliament when the House was in session. The Speaker is looking into this.
Malhotra also accused the government of “insulting” the House and demanded that it withdraw the statement that there was no need to bring the matter of the proposed panel before the House.
In the Rajya Sabha, Yashwant Sinha and Sushma Swaraj led the attack against the UPA for excluding the BJP from the committee.
The proposed mechanism is likely to be announced shortly, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi authorised to suggest the party’s representatives on the panel.