BJP & allies boycott PAC meet convened by Jaswant Singh

Expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh leaves after chairing a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting at Parliament in New Delhi.PTI

Representatives of BJP, Shiv Sena and Swatantra Bharat Paksh (SBP) kept away in protest against Singh's continuance as its chairman despite being asked to step down.

"We stayed away as it was NDA's directive," said Shiv Sena representative in PAC, Anandrao Adsul. Though BJP leaders refrained from making a formal statement, the party members are said to have been asked to stay away.

Adsul indicated that the boycott would continue till Singh headed the panel. BJP leaders said they were aware that he could not be removed as per rules, which say it cannot be done unless the Speaker finds him unable to discharge duties. As such, they were adopting a "wait and watch" attitude.

Asked whether BJP and its allies have boycotted the meeting, Singh refused to react, saying, "ask the officials".
While JD(U) MP N K Singh attended, BJP MPs Yashwant Sinha, Gopinath Munde, Shanta Kumar and Narayan Singh Kesari, besides Sharad Joshi (SBP) kept away. Sinha and Munde cited prior engagements for not attending the meeting.
While some BJP leaders said the party had not formally told its members to skip the meeting, they will keep away till "some progress" is made in this regard.
BJP faced an embarrassing situation when Singh rejected its request to step down from the post after he was expelled from the party on August 19 following controversy over his book on M A Jinnah.

N K Singh described today's meeting as a "good beginning especially when we have lost a lot of time as the committee should have started functioning from April itself".
He said the chairman has decided to set up seven sub-groups which would be assisted by nodal officers from the Comptroller and Auditor General's office.
CAG Vinod Rai also attended the meeting.

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