Jaswant Singh refuses to step down as PAC Chairman

Singh was appointed to the post prior to the release of his controversial book, Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence. BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj called on Singh during the day at his residence and reportedly asked him to step down from the post. Deputy Leader of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia was also present.

Asked whether Jaswant was inclined to resign, sources told Deccan Herald: “He did not give any such indication.” Apparently, Singh had already consulted Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Secretary-General PDT Achary on the issue.

The Speaker had taken the position that Singh, unless he resigned on his own, could continue as PAC chairman without hindrance. Aware of the views of the Speaker and the secretary-general, the BJP leadership is also learnt to have impressed upon them that the post of PAC chief belonged to the main Opposition party and that Singh, being an “unattached member” after his expulsion from the party, should not be allowed to continue in the post.

Leader of the Opposition L K Advani is also expected to call on the Speaker to convey the party’s position on the matter. He may also convey his party’s opposition to a proposal to give one more extension to Achary. The PAC is constituted by Parliament each year for examination of government accounts showing the appropriation of sums granted by Parliament for expenditure by the government.

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