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JPC on 2G: The permutations and combinations

Last updated on: February 23, 2011 20:21 IST
The government on Tuesday conceded the opposition demand for having 30 members in the Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the 2G spectrum issue, giving up its earlier plan for a 21-member panel to accommodate smaller parties like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, sources said.

AIADMK member of Parliament M Thambidurai met Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and National Democratic Alliance Working Chairperson L K Advani to request that the principal opposition also take up its case for a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Both Advani and Swaraj conveyed these sentiments to the government and suggested that a bigger JPC be formed. "Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which are considered mini-JPCs, have 30 members. Moreover, the earlier three JPCs on corruption have had 30 members," Swaraj told mediapersons.

The government sources said, "We have decided to have a 30-member panel to accommodate smaller parties which could not have been represented in a 21-member JPC."

Twenty members of the JPC will be from the Lok Sabha while 10 will be from the Rajya Sabha. The seats given to each party are based on its strength in the two Houses. In a 30-member JPC, 38 members in the House entitle a party to one seat in the panel.

Congress will have eight members in the committee from the Lower House and three from the Upper House.

The Bharatiya Janata Party will have four members from the Lok Sabha in the committee, one of which it will give to ally Shiv Sena which is not getting any representation. The main opposition will also have two members from the Upper House.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will have two members and AIADMK will have one member in the panel. Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia is likely to be a member of the JPC, party sources said. The party maintained it has not finalised the names yet.

Though the motion for formation of JPC is not listed in Thursday's business in the Lok Sabha, sources said the government will list it as a supplementary. The motion will be moved by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal at 14.00 hrs in the Lok Sabha. This will be followed by a four-hour discussion on the issue. Six members from the parties which are a part of the JPC will speak at the meet.

Sources said though the government is in favour of setting the start of the monsoon session as the deadline for the JPC to submit its report, the opposition is likely to demand that "within a reasonable time" be stated instead.

The Congress MP P C Chacko is still the front-runner for the post of JPC chairperson. Congress allies Nationalist Congress Party and Trinamool Congress will have one member each on the panel. Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal-United and Left parties will have two each while the Samajwadi Party and Biju Janata Dal will have one each.

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