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Oppn wants Chacko out, Cong fires salvo at BJP

Oppn wants Chacko out, Cong fires salvo at BJP
It could not save itself from the blushes as 15 opposition members met the Speaker, demanding the removal of panel chairperson P C Chacko.

In a counter move, the Congress demanded the removal of three BJP members Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad, citing conflict of interest.

Though the opposition was united in seeking the ouster of Chacko, the parties registered their protests separately and not under the umbrella of National Democratic Alliance (NDA). AIADMK, DMK, Left parties, TMC, and BJD submitted their letters separately to the Speaker, raising questions on Chacko as the chairperson of JPC on 2G.

‘The conduct of Chairman of JPC from the very beginning has been highly partisan, unfair and prejudicial... he has failed in his duty to lead the JPC to bring out the truth, instead he has used the JPC to conceal and subvert the truth,’ stated the letter submitted by opposition parties. Citing lack of confidence in Chacko, the members also appealed to the speaker to replace the chairperson with another member of JPC.

‘No confidence motion against P C Chacko has been moved by majority of the members of JPC. Only six out of 15 signatories are from BJP,’ said Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj on Twitter, trying to underline the point that it is a united opposition, that seeks the removal of Chacko.

Samajwadi Party (SP) however, kept everyone guessing on whose side it is, as the party did not submit any letter seeking the ouster of chairperson of JPC, though they maintained that the party will not accept the draft report if A Raja is not allowed to depose before the JPC.

Meanwhile, in their letter addressed to speaker, Congress members stated, ‘As they (BJP members) were themselves part of the decision making either being on the council of ministers or on the panel on telecom, this would constitute conflict of interest with the duty as members of JPC. As such it would not be fair to allow them to sit on judgement on their own decision,’ stated the letter.

The BJP rejected the Congress’ demand for the removal of its party members, with the BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, saying that the same demand was made by Congress members immediately after the constitution of Committee, through election by the House, and the Speaker had rejected it.

‘The mere fact that they were ministers did not constitute any personal, pecuniary or direct interest in the matter and that it was presumed that Parliament was aware of this fact when it elected them as members of the JPC,’ Sinha said, quoting from the Speaker’s ruling.
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