Joshi to continue as PAC chief, Yashwant Sinha out

Joshi to continue as PAC chief, Yashwant Sinha out

Senior party leader Yashwant Sinha has not been nominated to the PAC for the second year as he is part of JPC on the 2-G spectrum allocation scam. Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the party has decided to continue with Joshi as PAC chairperson after his current term expires on April 30. The
PAC chairperson's post is reserved for the main opposition.

BJP has nominated Sripad Naik and Ananth Kumar Hegde for the other two seats it has in PAC from Lok Sabha. Naik and Hegde replace Sinha and Raman Deka who were BJP members in the outgoing PAC. BJP has given the 4th seat from its share in Lok Sabha to Shiv Sena.

Swaraj said the decision to bring in new faces in the PAC, other than Joshi, was to give an opportunity to more MPs to serve in different panels. "Yashwant Sinha and Munde are also members of the JPC on 2-G Spectrum scam. Sinha is chairman of Standing Committee on Finance while Munde will continue to head the Standing Committee on Chemicals and fertilisers. He is also Deputy Leader of the party in Lok Sabha," Swaraj said.

Of the two seats BJP has in PAC from the Rajya Sabha, Prakash Javadekar has been nominated for one while the party has given the other seat to ally Shiv Sena. The main opposition had given the second seat last year to Shiromani Akali Dal which had nominated Naresh Gujral for the post.

Javadekar will replace Kalraj Mishra in the PAC who is head of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation. Mishra has also been made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh which goes to polls next year.

Joshi had taken over as PAC Chairperson on May 1, 2010. Soon after the 2009 elections, Jaswant Singh was BJP's choice for PAC Chairperson's post. But when he was expelled from the party in August, he resigned from the post in December.

Gopinath Munde was made chairperson from January 2010 to April 30, 2010 after which Joshi took over. However, Joshi's "pro-active" role as PAC Chairperson on the 2-G spectrum scam was initially not liked by some senior BJP leaders who felt this was diluting their demand for a JPC on the issue.

With the JPC clinched, the party now wants Joshi to continue the "good work" he has been doing. Other than taking cognizance of the CAG report on 2-G Spectrum allocation which put the loss to exchequer at Rs 1.76 Lakh Crore, the PAC has also summoned, among others, the CBI chief and editors of two magazines.

The BJP Parliamentary Party, which held its weekly meeting here today, asked its MPs to be present in the House from March 21 and 25 when the elections for various Standing Committees will be held.