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Fireworks likely at today’s JPC meet

J. Balaji
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Gurudas Dasgupta says he will present a dissent note at the meeting

P.C. Chacko
P.C. Chacko

With finalisation of the 2G spectrum allocation report on the JPC agenda, fireworks are expected at Friday’s crucial meeting.

With the appointment of a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha — Ashok Ganguly — in the place of the DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, the balance on the 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee has tilted in favour of the United Progressive Alliance and it is to be seen how Chairman P.C. Chacko of the Congress will go ahead with the report.

Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) told The Hindu that he would present a dissent note at the meeting. He took exception to Mr. Chacko convening the JPC on a day for which a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Finance Ministry was scheduled.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) has already submitted a dissent note, saying the JPC failed to live up to its mandate by not quizzing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

The DMK’s lone representative on the committee, T.R. Baalu, who has been repeatedly asking Mr. Chacko to examine the former Telecom Minister A. Raja, faulted the Chairman: “It appears that whenever it suits you, the term of the JPC gets extended, but whenever a request is made for examination of records or witnesses, paucity of time becomes an issue.”

“…the manner in which the JPC is rushing ahead does not inspire confidence,” he said and urged the Chairman to get various records, documents and affidavits — filed by the Department of Telecom before the Delhi High Court/Supreme Court and in reply to the CAG’s queries — for examination by the JPC.

The JPC’s draft report absolved both Dr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram of any wrongdoing in 2G spectrum allocation, forcing some of the members to make a representation to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, asking for removal of Mr. Chacko from chairmanship.

It is to be seen what stand the DMK’s arch-rival, the AIADMK, which has a lone member in M. Thamibidurai, will take at the meeting.


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