BJP may not ask Singh and Sinha to recuse from JPC

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 21:37

New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday indicated that it
will not ask senior leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha
to recuse themselves from the JPC into the 2G spectrum scam as
they had no "personal" conflict of interest, even as the
government appeared reluctant to pursue the matter officially.
A senior BJP leader said the practice of "recusing"
oneself is a judicial practice and not a political one.

"In a body like the JPC, the members are selected on
the basis of their party affiliation and so their stand on
issues is not personal but that of the party that they
represent," he said.

Moreover, since the 2003 Spectrum policy of first
come-first serve over auction was taken by the entire NDA
Cabinet, going by the Congress argument all BJP members
should recuse themselves, say leaders of the main opposition.

"By this logic, DMK (Former Telecom Minister A Raja`s
party) should not be a part of the JPC," said a BJP leader.

While Sinha was the Finance Minister in the NDA
regime, Singh headed a Group of Ministers (GOM) on Telecom
during that time.

Asked about his stand, Sinha said he did not find his
being a part of the JPC "inappropriate". He sought to know
which Congress leader was objecting to his candidature.

Jaswant Singh also said there was nothing wrong in him
being a part of the JPC as he was representing his party and
had no personal conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, the government itself seems to be going
soft on the issue.

"We did not raise this issue of Sinha and Singh being
a part of JPC when the Motion for formation of the JPC on 2-G
was moved in the Lok Sabha. We have still not demanded it,"
said a senior minister.

The Motion, which includes the names of the JPC
members, is moved by the government and so the candidates are
understood to have the approval of the ruling party, sources
said.

"The JPC is also like a coalition where we have little
say. Each party is like a coalition partner which nominates
its members to the JPC," the minister said.

As per the rules, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and
Speaker of Lok Sabha cannot remove such a member against whom
an objection is raised. In case of a member resigning or his
death, a Motion has to be moved to include a new member.

"This case is peculiar and incongruous. A Congress
member could not have opposed a Motion moved by his own senior
leader like Pranab Mukherjee, who had moved it," said the
minister.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 21:37

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