BJP wants Chidambaram to recuse from Aadhaar discussion

NEW DELHI, DHNS: A confrontation is brewing in Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs between Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party MPs over the latter's demand for recusal of panel Chairman P Chidambaram while discussing Aadhaar-related issues.

The MPs from both the sides sparred at a panel meeting on Wednesday over the demand. The panel is currently examining the subject "national security and privacy concerns relating to Aadhaar".

Sources said around half a dozen BJP MPs in the 31-member panel has flagged the involvement of Chidambaram, who is representing Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh in the Supreme Court against the Centre for moving the Aadhaar bill as a money bill.

The BJP MPs wanted Chidambaram to recuse himself and refer the matter to the Standing Committee on Information Technology.

The Opposition members objected to the demand pointing out that the committee has taken up the subject from October 4 and it was listed as one of the eight subjects to be discussed this year. Sources claimed that the Opposition was of the view that the demand came after the panel has met four times over the issue.

Their argument was that the panel should continue to examine the issue of Aadhaar as it involves privacy and issues of national security.

The panel has Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien, BJP MPs Sanjeev Kumar Balyan and Kirron Kher, BJD's Jay Panda and AIADMK's V Maitreyan among others.

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