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Opposition seeks removal of JPC chief Chacko

A.M. Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Impasse: JPC Chairman P.C.Chacko addressing the media at Parliament House on Thursday. – Kamal Narang

In an unprecedented move, the Opposition parties met the Speaker, Meira Kumar, demanding removal of the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s Chairman, P.C. Chacko.

Hours later, the Congress members urged her to ensure that three Bharatiya Janata Party members –Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Ravi Shankar Prasad – do not sit in the next meeting of the JPC to judge the merit of the draft report.

The Congress said the three leaders were part of the decision-making process when spectrum was allocated during the National Democratic Alliance Government.

“This would constitute conflict of interest with their duty as members of the JPC. As such, it would not be fair to allow them to sit on judgment on their own decisions,” the party said.

The crucial meeting of the JPC, to finalise the draft report, could not taken place as the Lok Sabha was adjourned to mourn the death of its member and Trinamool Congress leader, Ambica Banerjee.

Chacko said a decision on the next meeting would be taken after discussions with the Speaker.

Earlier, on Thursday, Opposition members in the JPC met the Speaker demanding the removal of Chacko as the panel’s Chairman. They said in a letter to the Speaker that the Chairman unilaterally decided that the committee should not examine any further witnesses.

“A number of crucial witnesses whose evidence would have thrown more light on the nature and dimension of the alleged irregularities were not called to depose before the committee,” the letter added. “Chacko’s actions have maligned Parliament,” veteran CPI MP and member of JPC Gurudas Dasgupta said.

Dismissing the letter, Chacko said such a request does not have the backing of Parliamentary Rules.

“It is a political step by the Opposition parties to tarnish my name. Such things are unheard of in Parliamentary proceedings,” Chacko told Business Line.

Members of all Opposition parties in the JPC met here in Parliament to form a joint strategy on the issue. The parties also sought the Samajwadi Party’s support on the issue. The SP has indicated that it is against framing former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, in the report without taking his views. The party, however, is for Chacko continuing as the Chairman.

>jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 25, 2013

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