Can alter JPC draft report if Oppn convinces me: Chacko

In a bid to end the confrontation in Joint Parliamentary Committee,its chairman P C Chacko,under Opposition fire

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: April 27, 2013 3:26:31 am

In a bid to end the confrontation in Joint Parliamentary Committee,its chairman P C Chacko,under Opposition fire,on Friday expressed willingness to consider amendments to the controversial draft report on 2G spectrum scam which gave a clean chit to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.

Chacko told PTI that any amendment could be considered if the Opposition members convince him through discussion about any wrong thing in the draft instead of indulging in politics.

He also expressed readiness for a probe into the leakage of the report to the media,amidst Opposition’s allegations that he was responsible for it. “The aim should not be to reject the report. They should say we want to amend the report. They should convince the committee on the need to redraft the report. I am open to get convinced. But convincing comes subsequently. First,they should be ready for a discussion,” he said in an interview.

He said he was ready to have a marathon meeting “continuously day and night” to debate the report in the committee as he has to table it in Parliament by May 10.

Accusing Opposition parties of indulging in politics,Chacko said if they maintain their present stance,it would mean that the report is not palatable to them. “They are damaging the healthy parliamentary practice,” he said.

Asked to comment on allegations by the Opposition on leakage,he said,“I am not responsible. If someone else has distributed it,it is not my responsibility.”

Meets Speaker,JPC meet likely on May 2

A DAY after non-Congress members of his JPC demanded his removal as chairman,P C Chacko met Speaker Meira Kumar to explain his position.

“Since some members had approached the Speaker,I thought it would be better that I consult her before deciding on the next date of the meeting,” Chacko said. The JPC meeting,meant to adopt its controversial draft report on 2G scam,was cancelled Thursday after the death of an MP and could now be held on May 2 or 3,sources said.

Half the JPC’s 30 members had met Kumar and urged her to remove Chacko because his conduct was “highly partisan,unfair and prejudicial”.

Chacko said the demand for his removal as well as Congress’s counter-demand for removal of BJP’s Jaswant Singh,Yashwant Sinha and Ravi Shankar Prasad “are before Speaker and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment”.

The BJP launched a fresh salvo at the Congress. Jaswant said the demand for expulsion of BJP members was borne out of “frustration,incompetence and feeble memory”. “The Congress came up with a bizzare and most outlandish demand that three members of JPC be expelled on grounds of alleged conflict of interest. This is entirely untenable. It is two years too late,” he said.

Jaswant said he and Sinha had “volunteered” at the first JPC meeting that “should there be objections to their membership,they would happily withdraw from the JPC”. ENS

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