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Adhir Ranjan shouted down at PAC meeting

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury   | Photo Credit: Sudha Vemuri@Delhi

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson and senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was shouted down by BJP and JD(U) leaders at a meeting held on Wednesday when he attempted to make a political comment criticising the government’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.

The meeting was called to shortlist the subjects that the committee will work on for 2021-2022.

When Mr. Chowdhury rose to make the concluding remarks, it was learnt that he read out a statement, a political comment, criticising the government’s current vaccination policy and overall alleged mismanagement during the pandemic.

Mr. Chowdhury wanted the “vaccine production and distribution” to be investigated by the committee. As per the panel’s rules, no subject can be deliberated upon, till there is a consensus among all the members.

Even before he could read out the second para of the statement, the BJP and the JD(U) started shouting at him.

The BJP’s Bhupendra Yadav, Satyapal Singh and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the JD(U)’s Rajiv Ranjan Singh, DMK leader T.R. Baalu, the AIADMK’s Thambi Durai, Rahul Shewale from the Shiv Sena, Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD and Shakti Singh Gohil from the Congress were other members of the meeting.

Sources said that the BJP and JD(U) members criticised Mr. Chowdhury saying that the PAC was not the platform to make a political comment. They also reminded him that the meeting was not being telecast to an audience, so it is a useless attempt to score a political point here.

Mr. Chowdhury countered this by saying that he was only quoting facts that were already in the public domain.

Proceedings “very ugly”

The shouting match went on in front of the senior officials of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. One of the members who attended the meeting described the whole proceeding as “very ugly” and totally “avoidable”.

Earlier, during the meeting, Mr. Baalu said that since public money had been spent on pandemic management and vaccines, these needed to be investigated. There was no objection from anyone.

Because a consensus could not be built, the subject of vaccine production and distribution was not accepted as one of the agenda of the PAC for this year.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 9:26:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/adhir-ranjan-shouted-down-at-pac-meeting/article34832926.ece

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