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15 JPC members reject 2G report in writing

Source: PTI
May 01, 2013 22:09 IST
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Fifteen opposition members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G spectrum scam on Wednesday wrote to the committee secretariat rejecting the panel's draft report in toto, setting the stage for worsening of the confrontation with the government on the issue.

The 15 members, who had met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar last week to express "no-confidence" in panel chief P C Chacko, wrote separate letters stating that they are rejecting the report "in toto".

These MPs, constituting half of the 30-member panel, belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal - United, Communist Party of India - Marxist, Communist Party of India, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Biju Janata Dal and Trinamool Congress.

BJP member in JPC Yashwant Sinha told PTI that the members reiterated in their letters their no-trust in Chacko.

Sinha pointed out that now the issue of removing those parts of the report -- which had alleged that the telecom policy followed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had caused a loss of Rs 42,000 crore -- is not relevant as the complete report has been rejected.

He also denied reports that the Speaker has informed the Opposition that she does not have the mandate to remove the JPC chief and replace him with another member, a demand made by these 15 members.

This development is set to deepen the stand-off in JPC, coming as it does in the wake of Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj's outburst against Congress President Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the Speaker.

The demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on coal mines allocation issue and vetting of the Central Bureau of Investigation's report on it is the other issue being raised by the Opposition.

Sources said the Opposition is likely to force a washout of the remaining part of the budget session of Parliament, except the passage of the money bills in the Rajya Sabha.

The budget session gets over on May 10.

Earlier, after these 15 members had complained to the Speaker, Chacko had sent overtures to them by saying in an interview that if the members are able to convince him, some amendments can be made to the draft report.

He backed out the next day when he said no changes can be made in the JPC report but members are free to express their views through dissent notes that will be incorporated in the final report.

The 15 members who wrote to the JPC secretariat rejecting the panel report are: Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, Gopinath Munde, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Haren Pathak, Dharmendra Pradhan (all BJP), Sharad Yadav, P C Sinha (both JD-U), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Kalyan Banerjee (TMC), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), T R Baalu, T Shiva (both DMK) and Arjun Charan Sethi (BJD).

They had met the Speaker last week and alleged that Chacko has acted in a "highly partisan, unfair and prejudicial" manner. They also demanded that he should be removed and another member of the panel be appointed chairperson in his place.

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