New Delhi: Bowing to the pressure from smaller parties, the government on Wednesday finally agreed to form a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum scam, giving up its earlier plan of a 21-member panel, reports say.
Soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the formation of a JPC yesterday, wrangling over its constitution had taken centrestage with indications that the government was keen on a 21-member JPC.
The development came after AIADMK and NCP-who would have been left out in a 21-member JPC- made a strong plea in the Lok Sabha that leaders of all political parties should be given representation in the JPC in order to avoid any feeling of “neglect”.
AIADMK MP M Thambidurai met NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to request that the principal opposition also take up its case for a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). Both Advani and Swaraj conveyed the message to the government and suggested to form a bigger JPC.
"We have decided to have a 30-member panel to accommodate smaller parties which could not have been represented in a 21-member JPC," government sources said.
As per reports, in the 30-member JPC, 20 would be from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. The seats given to each party are based on its strength in the two Houses. As per the arrangement 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 and two members from the Rajya Sabha. Out of its tally of four, the saffron party has decided to give one to its ally Shiv Sena.
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. The DMK will have two members and AIADMK will have one member in the panel.
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 on JPC will be brought by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal in the Lok Sabha at 2pm on Thursday. This will be followed by a four-hour discussion on the issue.
Names of senior Congress leaders PC Chacko and V Kishore Chandra Deo are doing the rounds for the post of JPC Chairperson.
With Agency inputs