PM to take final call on JPC probe into IPL row
The Prime Minister will take a final call on the issue of constituting a joint parliamentary committee to probe the IPL controversy, a demand over which the opposition repeatedly stalled Parliament proceedings on Wednesday.
A decision to this effect was taken in Congress Core Group Meeting chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi. The meeting among other issues also discussed how to ensure the smooth passage of the Finance Bill.
All other members of the party's top decision making body including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony and Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel were present in the meeting.
"Government will decide," was the cryptic reply by a top party leader after the Core Group meeting in New Delhi.
Highly placed sources in the party said that Mukherjee briefed the Congress President and Prime Minister about the issue in detail.
Congress sources said that the party has not arrived at any decision on the issue yet and that it is for the government to take a view on it.
"Finance Minister will meet the PM over the issue and then the Prime Minister will be taking a decision on whether to go for JPC or not," sources said.
Congress sources say that it was unlikely that the government will go for the JPC to probe the IPL allegations. However, if hard facts surface about betting and money laundering, than moves to set up a JPC could gain momentum.
A Union Minister, who declined to be identified, said that no more resignations were likely from the government after that of Shashi Tharoor as "our alliance partners have more leeway".
Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel are being accused of "gross misuse of power" in the IPL controversy, a charge denied by their party NCP which is a partner in the Congress-led coalition at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Lok Sabha, "It (a decision on JPC) is to be taken after due diligence and consideration. It cannot be like instant coffee or instant consideration".
Observing that the government will have to ponder over the demand, Mukherjee, who is also the Leader of the Lok Sabha, said, "I will communicate your sentiments to the Prime Minister. As and when the government takes a decision, we will come to Parliament. Let us wait for some time."