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JPC meet next week; all eyes on JD-U

Last updated on: June 19, 2013 22:21 IST

Congress support to Janata Dal-United in Bihar Assembly on Wednesday lends a new dimension to the much-delayed meeting of the JPC on 2G scam to be held next week to discuss adoption of the controversial draft report that gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

JD-U, which has two members in the 30-member JPC, could tilt the balance in favour of Congress in the numbers game in the sharply divided committee since it has parted ways with BJP.

Earlier, JD-U, as part of NDA, had rejected the draft report.

Congress could now try to convince JD-U to side with it in the committee after its four MLAs in the Bihar Assembly sided with Nitish Kumar during the Trust Vote on Wednesday.

 

Fifteen members from Opposition parties, including BJP, JD-U, and former UPA allies DMK and Trinamool Congress, had earlier written separate letters to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar contending that they have "no confidence" in the JPC Chairman and had appealed to her to immediately remove him.

They had also rejected the draft report "in toto."

JPC Chairman P C Chacko said here that the panel would meet sometime next week. "Members have been busy so far. We plan to meet sometime next week," he told reporters.

The JPC has not met since February due to sharp differences with Opposition members demanding Chacko's removal. A meeting was last scheduled on April 25 to adopt the draft report but it could not take place because of the death of a sitting Lok Sabha member.

The next meeting of the JPC is expected to be crucial as Chacko could try to get the report adopted if numbers favour the UPA.

Following sharp differences between members, Meira Kumar had to step in to calm the tempers and asked Chacko and other members to "sink their differences and present a report as mandated by Parliament.

While Samajwadi Party has not sought Chacko's removal, it has made it clear that till former Telecom Minister A Raja, main accused in the case, is not called as a witness, it would not support the report. SP has one member in the panel.

Bahujan Samaj Party, with two members, is likely to side with the UPA.

The term of the JPC was to end with the Budget session of Parliament on May 10. But with no solution in sight to the logjam, Chacko had sought an extension till the end of the Monsoon session.

The draft report of the JPC on 2G scam had given a clean chit to Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram. It had charged Raja with misleading the PM on the issue of 2G spectrum allocation.

The next meeting of the JPC is expected to be crucial as Chacko could try to get the report adopted if numbers favour the UPA.

While Congress had 11 members in JPC, with E M S Natchiappan becoming a Minister of State in the latest reshuffle, the ruling party's strength had gone down to 10. It's UPA ally NCP has one member in the panel.

Following sharp differences between members, Meira Kumar had to step in to calm the tempers and asked Chacko and other members to "sink their differences and present a report as mandated by Parliament.

While Samajwadi Party has not sought Chacko's removal, it has made it clear that till former Telecom Minister A Raja, main accused in the case, is not called as a witness, it would not support the report. SP has one member in the panel.

Bahujan Samaj Party, with two members, is likely to side with the UPA.

The term of the JPC was to end with the budget session of Parliament on May 10. But with no solution in sight to the logjam, Chacko had sought an extension till the end of the Monsoon session.

The draft report of the JPC on 2G scam had given a clean chit to Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram. It had charged Raja with misleading the PM on the issue of 2G spectrum allocation.

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