Debate in House on March 19
In a bid to avoid a fresh confrontation with the opposition, the UPA has slated a discussion on the recent helicopter scam on March 19 in the Lok Sabha - towards the end of the first half of the ongoing budget session.
The decision comes even as seven days have passed since the Rajya Sabha had approved the government's motion to constitute a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the scam. While a section of the opposition is eager to discuss the issue in the Lower House and corner the government, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath on Thursday told the that the matter would be debated on March 19.
The Congress may propose the name of its Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chowdhury as the chairperson of the JPC. Lok Sabha MP of Congress, PC Chacko, was made the chairman of the previous JPC on the telecom policy.
Meanwhile, the CPI (M) threatened that it may not participate in the proposed JPC if the entire NDA decides to boycott it. The BJP had already opposed the proposal of the JPC and staged a walk out in Rajya Sabha but its allies like Shiv Sena had supported it.
"If CPI(M) MP T K Rangarajan is the only member in the JPC opposing the government and other Opposition parties are not joining it, then there is no point of having the JPC and we will have to rethink," CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.
BJP ally JD(U) had demanded that in case a JPC is constituted, an opposition member should be its chairperson. But the Congress is unlikely to accept this demand.