Govt nod for Opposition's demand; 30 member JPC

Indian Parliament
New Delhi, Feb 23: Government on Wednesday, Feb 23 conceded the Opposition demand for having 30 members in the JPC to probe the 2G spectrum issue. After, giving up its earlier plan for a 21-member panel to accommodate smaller parties like AIADMK, sources said.

AIADMK MP M Thambidurai met Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and NDA Working Chairperson LK Advani today to request that the principal opposition also take up its case for a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).

Both Advani and Swaraj conveyed these sentiments to the government and suggested that a bigger JPC be formed.

"Even Parliamentary Standing Committee - which are considered mini-JPCs - have 30 members. Moreover, the earlier three JPCs on corruption have had 30 members," Swaraj told reporters.

The government sources said, "We have decided to have a 30-member panel to accommodate smaller parties which could not have been represented in a 21-member JPC."

20 members of the JPC will be from the Lok Sabha while 10 will be from the Rajya Sabha. The seats given to each party are based on its strength in the two Houses. In a 30 member JPC, 38 members in the House entitle a party to one seat in the panel.

Congress will have eight members in the Committee from the Lower House and three from the Upper House.

BJP will have four members from the Lok Sabha in the committee, one of which it will give to ally Shiv Sena which is not getting any representation. The main opposition will also have two members from the Upper House.

The DMK will have two members and AIADMK will have one member in the panel.

Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha SS Ahluwalia is likely to be a member of the JPC, party sources said. The party maintained it has not finalised the names yet.

Though the Motion for formation of JPC is not listed in tomorrow's business in the Lok Sabha, sources said the government will list it as a supplementary.

The Motion will be moved by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal at 2 PM in the Lok Sabha. This will be followed by a four-hour discussion on the issue.

Sources said though the government is in favour of setting the start of the Monsoon Session as the deadline for the JPC to submit its report, the opposition is likely to demand that "within a reasonable time" be stated instead.

Congress MP PC Chacko is still the front-runner for the post of JPC chairperson.

Congress allies NCP and Trinamool Congress will have one member each on the panel. BSP, JD(U) and Left parties will have two each while SP and BJD will have one each.


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