Speaker rejects demand to remove 2G JPC chief

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Thursday rejected the opposition demand for removal of P.C. Chacko as the head of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into 2G spectrum allocation, a parliament source said.

The opposition had sought Chacko’s removal over a draft report which blamed former telecom minister A. Raja but cleared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of any wrongdoing in the allocation of spectrum.

According to the sources, the speaker also rejected the demand of six Congress members for removal of three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members – Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad – from the panel.

The Congress members had also sought imposition of a bar on the three BJP panel members from voting, citing a conflict of interest as all of them were either ministers or part of group of ministers on telecom during the NDA rule from 1998-2004.

“The speaker has rejected the demands of both the sides. Separate letters intimating the members of the decisions have been dispatched,” a parliament officer told IANS.

In her letter, the speaker has urged the warring members to sink their differences, work a way out of the logjam, and adopt the report, he said.

The JPC meeting April 25 to finalise the draft report was postponed due to the death of Trinamool Congress MP Ambica Banerjee. A fresh date for the meeting is yet to be decided.

The same day as many as 15 opposition members, including former UPA allies DMK and Trinamool Congress, wrote separate letters to the speaker that they had “no confidence” in Chacko as the panel chief and he should be removed.

In a counter attack, six Congress members wrote to the speaker seeking the removal of the BJP members from the committee.

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