Monday, February 14, 2011

p c chacko tipped to be JPC chief on 2G

P C Chacko or 
V Kishore Chandra Deo
Chairman of JPC on 2G?

By R Rajagopalan

P C Chacko from Kerala  or V Kishore Chandra Deo Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh 
are the strong contendors  to head  JPC on 2G, according to highly placed Congress sources.

There are others from Lok Sabha Congress MPs
Francisco Sardinha or Vijay Bahuguna. But Sonia Gandhi is also 
keen to have a woman MP  Girija Vyas. 
But the key contendor is V Kishore Chandra Deo.

A final decision is likely to be announced on February 23,
just before the economic survey will be presented.

Sonia Gandhi and Pranab Mukherjee will identify the chairman
and convey to the Speaker Meira Kumar. She in turn will also
have   a consultations with Chairman of Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari.
The total number of Members of JPC will be 21. if earlier JPCs
are to be taken the calculation is that 14 Lok Sabha and 7 Rajya Sabha MPs
will form the part of the JPC.

Invariiably the Chairman of JPC goes to Lok Sabha Member of the ruling

Indications available with this correspondent is that AIADMK may be
kept out of the JPC as they do not have specific cut off number of
27 MPs. In other words, whichever political parties have 27 MPs
as a group they will be given one Member of the JPC.
But highly placed sources indicate that Congress might give one
of its berths to DMK.


The Congress core group on Monday decided to concede the
Opposition's demand for a Joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe
into the 2G scam and Andhra Congress MP V Kishore Chandra Deo, who
turns 64 on Tuesday, is tipped to head the 21-member committee.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,
who attended the core group meeting besides Sonia Gandhi, her
political secretary Ahmed Patel and Defence Minister A K Anthony, will
be briefing the Cabinet on Tuesday to take into confidence the allies
in the government, a top Congress source said.

He said the PM was earlier reluctant to have a JPC as that may throw
dirt on him and his government, but he was reconciled at the meeting
after persuation by Mukherjee who also said he had promised the
Opposition called over lunch last week to get back to them after a
final view emerges on the issue.

In the previous 14th Lok Sabha, Deo, a 5-time Lok Sabha member from
Araku ST and once a Rajya Sabha member as also a former union minister
of state, has been chairman of the committees constituted by then
Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to probe misconduct of MPs like taking
money to ask questions as also the money allegedly paid to three BJP
MPs to vote for government on the confidence vote. Deo is currently
chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings. There
will be 14 members from Lok Sabha, including Deo, and seven from the
Rajya Sabha in the JPC.

Mukherjee is convening a meeting of the opposition leaders in a day or
two to take them on board with a commitment on the JPC as a part of
the Congress-led UPA government's strategy to have a smooth run of the
Parliament budget session beginning on February 21. The core group
authorised him to give a word to the Opposition to ensure it does not
resume blockage of the sittings to press for the JPC demand that
resulted in the washout of the entire winter session.

At the AICC Press briefing, party spokesman Manish Tewari said the
Congress was not averse to the JPC but the Opposition should agree to
the probe modalities and a prior debate. Admitting that it is for the
government as well as the Opposition to work out how to run the
democratic institutions, he said: "Opposition should not run away from
a debate. The demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe should
not become a subterfuge to run away from debate. Debate on the floor
of the House is a fair, legitimate and just demand."

The Congress may press for the JPC probe to cover the mobile phone
licences and spectrum allocations right from 2001 to cover the period
when late Pramod Mahajan and Arun Shourie of the BJP were the telecom
ministers. The probe will also cover DMK's former telecom ministers
Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has convened a meeting of all
political parties on Sunday on the eve of the three-month long Budget
session to make it a smooth affair.


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