Jaswant holds parliamentary panel meet, defying BJP

September 7th, 2009 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh Monday convened a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the parliament, defying the party’s call to him to quit the post after his sacking.
Singh Monday called a meeting of the 22-member committee, which scrutinises government spending. He had been appointed its chairman when he was in the BJP.

Three BJP MPs who are members of the committee — Gopinath Munde, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar — gave the meeting a miss.

The BJP had asked Singh, elected to the Lok Sabha from Darjeeling, to quit the parliamentary panel post on the grounds of “morality”.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had said: “According to parliamentary tradition, the post of the PAC chairman goes to a Lok Sabha member of the principal opposition party. And he (Singh) was assigned the crucial position for being in the party. Now that he has been expelled, the party will take a call soon.”

However, a combative Singh refused to quit saying the decision has to be taken by the Speaker and not a political party.

Singh, 71, was expelled from the party following the release of his book “Jinnah — India, Partition, Independence”, in which he held that the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah had been unfairly demonised in India.

His sacking triggered a political turmoil in the party.

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