JPC's 2G probe hangs in balance

On scam trail: Panel chief Chacko keen to resume proceedings

JPC's 2G probe hangs in balance

Four days after the BJP walked out from the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing 2G spectrum scam meeting, panel Chairman P C Chacko said that he will not be influenced with the principal opposition party’s pressure tactics.

He said he will resume the proceedings as a majority of members were keen to attend them.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chacko said: “I have already appealed to the BJP members to return to the committee and the entire committee should sit together to finalise the list of whom to call for deposition. It is up to them to take a decision. I will not speak again with BJP members on this issue.”

The BJP members boycotted the panel meeting on Wednesday alleging that the Congress wanted to scuttle the probe by not calling key personalities, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidamabaram, former principal secretary to prime minister T K A Nair, current Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee and former telecom minister A Raja, for deposition.

The Congress, however, was reportedly against calling these persons for deposition fearing embarrassment. Last week, there were rumours that the BJP may quit all parliamentary committees including the JPC to starve the government of option but to accept their demand of the prime minister’s resignation on coalgate scam, but the party leaders denied it.

The BJP members of the JPC would take a final call on returning only after knowing the outcome of the proposed non-Congress political parties meeting convened by them in the capital on Monday.

Though the BJP was embarrassed since NDA member of the JPC, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, did not walk out of the meeting, the opposition party claimed that they knew that the Bihar regional party has been behaving like an opposition party among their fold.
The JPC chief claimed that the JD(U) member wanted the panel to continue its work. “I spoke to JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, who is also member of the committee, and he told me that the panel should continue its work despite any party abstaining from attending the meeting,” Chacko outlined.

On that day (referring to Wednesday’s meeting), while we were discussing whom to call in the list of 104 witnesses, the BJP members, including Yashwant Sinha, Ravishankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan and Gopinath Munde, unilaterally stormed out of the JPC meeting without any provocation and valid reasons, recollected Chacko.

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