2G Scam: Opposition, DMK members of JPC demand Chacko's removal

An all out war broke out today in the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G scam when half of its 30 members demanded removal of the committee chief P C Chacko and the ruling party hitting back by seeking the ouster of three BJP members.

On his part, Chacko, accused by the Opposition of playing a partisan role as Chairman, ruled out quitting the post saying he would continue to do the job.

The simmering confrontation between the Opposition and the Congress erupted into a full scale confrontation on a day of dramatic developments when 15 members belonging to BJP, JD(U), AIADMK, DMK, Left parties, TMC, and BJD joined hands expressing "no confidence" in Chacko.

In the 30-member Committee, Congress has 11 members, including Chacko and its ally NCP has one member. The role of three members of BSP and SP, both outside allies of Congress, are keenly watched as to whether they would come to the rescue of the government in case of a vote in the Committee when it meets next.

On a day when the Committee was to meet to consider the draft report amidst indications that a vote could decide the issue, Chacko adjourned the meeting in the wake of a death of a Lok Sabha member on account of which the House was adjourned. The meeting may be held early next week.

Angry Opposition members then petitioned Speaker Meira Kumar seeking the removal of Chacko, a senior Congress leader, accusing him of 'highly partisan, unfair and prejudicial' conduct. They blamed him for leakage of the draft report which gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

"We are of the unanimous view that these members need to be removed from the membership of the JPC in the interest of justice and fairness," said the Congress members, while wanting an 'expeditious decision on this vital aspect relating to the functioning of the JPC.'

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