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Govt rejects Opposition's demand of JPC

Government hits back at BJP and other parties demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the nuclear deal.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2007 17:21 IST

Government on Thursday hit back at BJP and other parties demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the nuclear deal with the US telling them bluntly that the UPA was in power not because of their support but because of the Left backing.

"Government's continuance is dependent on their (Left) support and not on the support of NDA. My job is to carry conviction with my supporters and not opponents," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters, dismissing opposition demands for a JPC.

A day after BJP leader LK Advani alleged that the arrangement of the UPA-Left Committee was aimed at saving the government, Mukherjee said "of course. It is my job to save the government. It is my additional responsibility to carry my supporters so that the government continues."

Observing that formation of a Committee was an internal arrangement and nothing to do with Parliament or the Government, Mukherjee asked the BJP-led NDA whether the Congress ever asked what discussions George Fernandes and Jaswant Singh had with AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa when she withdrew support to Vajpayee government in 1999.

"We have entered into a coalition. Till the last moment, I shall try to see that the government survives," he said, adding that whatever has to be told to the opposition on the issue the government would do so in Parliament as it has been doing.

Dubbing the demand for JPC as "funny", Mukherjee said that even in Lok Sabha, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has also held that there has been no provision in the Constitution for a JPC on an international agreement.

First Published: Sep 06, 2007 17:15 IST