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Seek Joshi's resignation or let Sushma quit: Congress

Source: PTI
December 28, 2010 21:01 IST
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Congress on Tuesday sought to drive a wedge in the Bharatiya Janata Party on the issue of the Public Accounts Committee, saying the Opposition party should either seek PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi's resignation or Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj should step down as they appear to have diverse views on the issue.

"Joshi is the chairman of the PAC as a nominee of BJP. He had replaced Jaswant Singh as PAC chairman after the former was removed from the party. Now if Joshi does not listen to the BJP, it should ask its leader to step down. If there is any mutual rivalry between the two either BJP should ask Joshi to resign or Sushama Swaraj herself should step down," Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons in New Delhi.

His reaction came in response to questions on the different views being aired by the two BJP leaders on the issue of PAC versus Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Ahmed at the same time maintained that itt was an internal matter of BJP and they have to resolve it. "The scope of PAC is totally different from that of JPC. While PAC deals with accounts, JPC deals with accountability and governance," Swaraj tweeted on Tuesday, a day after Joshi had said that the PAC can go beyond the Comptroller and Auditor General report on 2G scam.

Joshi's remarks were seen as puncturing the clamour for a JPC probe into the issue with Opposition parties insisting that the PAC's role is limited while the JPC can have far reaching powers.

Asked whether Joshi is helping Congress in a way, Ahmed said, "Joshi is simply doing his constitutional duty. He is the chairman of PAC and he is doing what he deems fit to PAC chairman. There is no question of Congress depending on his help".

Swaraj also dismissed Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's offer to appear before PAC saying that the PAC cannot call even a minister, much less the Prime Minister.

On the Prime Minister's offer, Joshi had on Monday said the PAC will take an "appropriate decision at an appropriate time" after going through rules and procedures and in accordance with them.

Joshi had also said that while the PAC cannot summon a minister, this was a different case as the PM has made an offer. "This is not a case of summons," he added.

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