His confidence about being able to sort out differences over the draft 2G report notwithstanding,Joint Parliamentary Committee chairman P C Chacko faces a difficult test of numbers when the panel meets on April 25.
The committee comprises 30 members including Chacko,who must get the backing of a majority to push the draft through. The UPAs strength in the panel is only 12 people: V Arun Kumar,Ijyaraj Singh,Jai Prakash Agrawal,Deepender Singh Hooda,Bhakta Charan Das,Nirmal Khatri,Partap Singh Bajwa,Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu,E M Sudarshana Natchiappan,Praveen Rashtrapal and Yogendra Trivedi,besides Chacko himself.
It can hope to get the support of Dara Singh Chauhan and Satish Mishra of the BSP and Shailendra Kumar of the SP,taking its numbers to 15.
However,Chacko may vote only in case of a tie,and a situation may well arise in which 15 votes go against the report,and he is stuck with only 14 in favour. The UPA has earlier in the case of the PAC taken the line that the majority view must prevail in a parliamentary committee,and it would be interesting to see how it argues its case in the JPC.
The opposition in the panel includes Sharad Yadav,Jaswant Singh,Yashwant Sinha,Ravi Shankar Prasad,Gopinath Munde,Harin Pathak,Dharmendra Pradhan,Sitaram Yechuri,Gurudas Dasgupta,Kalyan Banerjee,Arjun Charan Sethi,M Thambidurai and Ram Chandra Prasad Singh.
Besides these 13 MPs,T R Baalu and Tiruchi Siva of the DMK would obviously vote against the draft,which puts the entire blame on their party colleague A Raja,and which has been criticised by M Karunanidhi himself.