M A I N   N E W S

Lok Sabha passes JPC motion
Faraz Ahmad/TNS

New Delhi, February 24
The Lok Sabha today unanimously passed the motion to constitute a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G scam by a voice vote after a four-hour debate. The motion will now go to the Rajya Sabha for concurrence and choosing 10 other members of the Committee.

The 20 members from the Lok Sabha are: V Kishore Chandra Deo, Paban Singh Ghatowar, Jai Prakash Agarwal, Deepender Singh Hooda, P C Chacko, Manish Tewari, Nirmal Khatri, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (all Cong), T R Baalu (DMK), Kalyan Banerjee (TMC), Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Harin Pathak, Gopinath Munde (all BJP), Sharad Yadav (JDU), Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav (SP), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Arjun Charan Sethi (BJD) and M Thambidurai (AIADMK).

While moving the motion, Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee nevertheless warned against disruptions and stalling of parliamentary proceedings saying, “Parliament cannot be mortgaged to the conceding of a demand,” and warning that “If hatred and disrespect for parliamentary institutions was generated, it would lead to the rise of extra-constitutional authorities,” recalling how the discrediting of democracy and politicians led to Martial Law and abrogation of constitution in Pakistan.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj countered Mukherjee, accusing the government and Prime Minister in particular of bringing down the prestige of Parliament and other democratic institutions. She said, “If you had constituted the JPC earlier the Supreme Court would not have had to make adverse comments about the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister would not have had to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court nor would the Supreme Court have had to monitor the CBI investigations into the 2G scam.”

She said, “Accepting Opposition demand is not a sign of government weakness. It only demonstrates its desire to be transparent. Such a move doesn’t just show the maturity of the government but also its magnanimity,” Sushma said.

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal proved to be a red rag for the BJP as he rose to speak and made some unsavoury remarks. He immediately had to withdraw the remarks and offered an apology.

But he raised BJP hackles when he recalled how when, in government, their Defence Minister George Fernandes had accused the C&AG of being a culprit. He said the NDA had no hesitation in attacking the NHRC or the then CEC (James Lyngdoh).





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