JPC meet slated for Oct 3 postponed: Chacko

Thrissur: The JPC on 2G spectrum scam has deferred its October 3 meeting in view of the Lok Sabha Speaker’s efforts to persuade BJP members who have threatened to quit the panel alleging bias on his part, its Chairman P C Chacko said today.

“I have reported the matter (walk out of BJP members and their threat) to the Lok Speaker (Meira Kumar). She has expressed her readiness to talk to the BJP members. Now I am waiting for the results of her efforts,” Chacko told PTI here.

The meeting slated for October 3 was of importance as Attorney General G E Vahanvati is to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on that day.

Chacko said four BJP members of the JPC had walked out of the last meeting demanding that he give an assurance on asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appear before the panel for deposition.

After the walkout, BJP accused Chacko of being ‘biased’ and threatened to quit the panel if the Chairman declined to summon the Prime Minister.

“As chairman of the JPC I have not taken a personal stand on the issue. I believe the panel should work collectively.And, I think that the BJP has no reason to walk out,” he said.

It was under these circumstances that the Lok Sabha Speaker expressed the readiness to talk to the BJP members and in view of this, the Oct 3 meeting had been postponed, Chacko said.

On the Supreme Court judgement on Presidential Reference on allocation of natural resources, Chacko, also Congress’ national spokesperson, claimed it endorsed the government’s decision while making it clear that the ‘yardsticks’ accepted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in calculating the loss of allocating the coal mines were “not correct”.

He said the court’s acknowledgement that the government enjoyed the right to allocate natural resources through non-auction route amounted to justification of its policy in this regard.