Congress slams BJP for walkout from 2G JPC (second lead)

August 22nd, 2012 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the 2G spectrum allocation scam Wednesday walked out from a meeting of the panel, accusing some Congress members of using “foul language” even as the Congress condemned their action.

The BJP members were upset over former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee being named among those the JPC could summon.

They were also miffed as the Congress wanted to summon Arun Shourie, who was the telecom minister during the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) rule.

BJP members wanted to summon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Their demand was rejected by Congress members, a source said.

“They want to convert it into a kangaroo court, so we came out,” a BJP member said.

Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Dharmendra Pradhan, Gopinath Munde and Ravi Shankar Prasad were among the BJP members who walked out of the meeting, which was expected to finalise the list of people who would depose before the JPC.

Yashwant Sinha alleged that some junior members of the Congress started “using foul language against us”.

“The chairman made no comment on it despite some of them making accusations against us, so we decided to walk out,” Sinha said.

The JPC has 30 members — 20 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. It is headed by Congress leader P.C. Chacko.

Congress JPC member Deepender Singh Hooda condemned the action of BJP leaders and said they were trying to politicise the proceedings. Hooda denied that he or his party colleague Manish Tewari had showed disrespect to any member.

“Walk out. I totally condemn it. I did not disrespect any member. Neither did Manish (Tewari). We expressed our opinions,” Hooda said.

He added that if some members took the message personally, it was “rather strange”.

Referring to BJP members pointing to their seniority in their remarks to the media, Hooda said every member had an equal right to speak in the JPC.

“Claiming to be senior should be reflected in large heartedness,” Hooda said.

Referring to BJP members staging a walkout and some of them subsequently speaking to the media, Hooda said: “They were violating the code of conduct.”

“I regret what happened,” he said.

Tewari said he had not used any unparliamentary language and added that he would dissociate himself from the JPC proceedings if a single such word is found in his remarks.

“If anybody can find a single (unparliamentary) word (in the verbatim record), I would permanently recuse myself from proceedings of the JPC,” Tewari said.

Tewari said he had been spokesperson of the Congress for almost four years and his worst critics cannot accuse him of using derogatory or unparliamentary language.

He said that if anyone has to be summoned by the JPC, it should be backed by valid reason by the member.

He said the decision on summoning people before the JPC has to be “taken by consensus”.

Tewari said the JPC meeting Wednesday was aimed at mapping out the future course of action.

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