Govt open to a JPC probe, says Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath

With the Opposition preparing to target it in Parliament over the VVIP chopper scam, government today said it was open for a JPC probe on the issue.

"We are open for a Joint Parliamentary Committee if this satisfies everybody," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said replying to questions on whether the government would accept the demand for a JPC probe into the chopper deal.

Nath insisted that the government was "neither afraid nor hesitant" on discussion on any issue during the three-month long Budget Session of Parliament beginning Thursday.

The minister, who held meeting with chief whips of various political parties today, said the government had got a "flavour" of the issues including the chopper deal, hanging of Afzal Guru, price rise, land acquisition, food security, planned to be raised during the session.

He also rejected the BJP charge that Defence Minister A K Antony had misled Parliament on the issue of purchase of 12 AgustaWestland choppers for VVIPs and that his style of functioning has resulted in the alleged scam.

"Antony did not mislead Parliament. What does the BJP want Mr Antony to do? Work as per their style? Thank goodness he does not work as per their style. God knows what would have happened had he worked as per their style," he said.

Nath steered clear of questions on whether Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde would apologise in Parliament over his controversial "Hindu terror" remarks.

"Certainly, I am not saying he will apologise or not apologise. Let the issue come before Parliament. Let there be discussion. Let us see," he said.

In an oblique attack on the BJP, which has threatened to disrupt Parliament if Shinde did not apologise, Nath said Parliament does not belong to any one political party. It belongs to all political parties.

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