Sonia holds strategy session ahead of process to institute JPC

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) With the formal process ofconstituting a JPC set to be put in motion tomorrow, CongressPresident Sonia Gandhi held a strategy session with seniorparty leaders on the way ahead.

Gandhi held deliberations with senior Ministers PranabMukherjee, A K Antony and P Chidambaram at a time when searchis on for a Chairman of the proposed JPC as also its members.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal andpolitical secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel werealso present during the talks.

The names of senior leaders V Kishore Chandra Dev, P CChacko and Girija Vyas are doing the rounds in Congresscircles as head of the JPC to probe the 2G spectrum scam.

Government''s thinking as of now appears to be restrictingthe JPC to 21 members but the opposition is pressing formaking it a 30-member body.

While it may be a fact that as per rules only oneParliamentary Committee could look into an issue, butGovernment sources say that the work of the Public AccountsComitteee would continue despite the setting up of the JPC.

"We are setting up the JPC to buy peace with theopposition so that Parliament runs smoothly", admitted aminister, who declined to be identified.

Parliament sources said that the resolution for thesetting up of the JPC would be moved on Thursday by TelecomMinister Kapil Sibal. The JPC is expected to be asked tosubmit its report on the last date of the Monsoon session.

A section of the Congress suggests that there was amethod in the "madness" for late acceptance of the JPC demandas the Government has ensured intensive investigations intothe scam which has seen a former Cabinet Minister being sentto Tihar jail and the high and the mighty being questioned byprobe agencies.

"If JPC had been set up early, then it would have takenall the credit for all these acts," said a Congress leaderadding that the proposed body has now precious little to doand the months ahead could see some confusion due to theparallel investigations.

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