Opposition demands JPC chairman Chako’s removal

New Delhi: Ahead of the adoption of controversial report on 2G scam, an all-out war broke out in the JPC on Thursday with opposition members demanding ouster of Chairman  P C Chacko, a move swiftly countered by Congress which sought removal of three BJP members.

15 members of JPC belonging to BJP, JD(U), AIADMK, DMK, Left parties, TMC, and BJD met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to convey their "no-confidence" in Chacko on grounds of "highly partisan, unfair and prejudicial" conduct besides alleged leakage of the draft report.

The members of eight parties wanted the Speaker to replace Chacko with someone else.

They put the demand on a day when a meeting of JPC to adopt the report was slated but cancelled in view of death of a Trinamool Congress member of the Lok Sabha.

The draft report has come under attack from opposition members for clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

In the 30-member JPC, Congress has 11 members, including Chacko and its ally NCP has one member.

The opposition members alleged that Chacko has failed in his duty to lead the JPC to bring out the truth. "Instead he has used the JPC to conceal and subvert the truth," their letter to the Speaker alleged.

Hours later, Congress countered the move, with its members meeting the Speaker to demand removal of three BJP members — Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad, contending "conflict of interest".

These members were "instrumental in taking major decisions relating to the telecom sector that are being investigated into by the JPC as its terms of reference is spread over the period from 1998 to 2009, said letter by Congress members to the Speaker.

They pointed out that Singh was Chairman of a high-level Group on Telecom in 1998 and later head of a Group of Ministers on Telecom in which Sinha and Prasad were members.