Govt moves to set up JPC, oppn not in favour


Seeking to deflect the strong opposition attack over the delay in ordering a probe into the VVIP chopper scandal, the UPA government Wednesday moved swiftly to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the deal and secured the approval of the Rajya Sabha for the panel.

The move, however, was not supported by opposition parties led by the BJP, and they walked out of the House in protest, triggering a fresh confrontation. BJP sources said the party was unlikely to participate in the JPC as it was not happy with the way the JPC was probing the 2G scam.

The panel can be constituted only after the Lok Sabha approves the motion as well.

"This will hardly be a JPC. It will be a CWC (Congress Working Committee)," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

While the SP and BSP supported the JPC, the CPM did a series of flip-flops. During the discussion in the House, the party said a JPC was not needed as it will be a waste of time. It later agreed to support, but its members walked out after sensing the mood of the rest of the opposition when the motion was put to vote.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the party would not boycott the JPC if the House decides to have one. But the CPM won't take part if the rest of the opposition does not participate, he said.

Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath accused the BJP of "running away" from a JPC, recalling that the party had stalled an entire parliament session demanding a JPC into the 2G spectrum licence scandal. "There was a CBI inquiry on then. Then they said they did not trust the CBI. This is nothing but plain politics," Nath said.

The JPC, he added, would submit its report within three months of its first sitting.

... contd.

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