Sonia holds strategy session ahead of process to institute JPC

With the formal process of constituting a JPC set to be put in motion on Tuesday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi held a strategy session with senior party leaders on the way ahead.

Updated: Feb 21, 2011, 20:33 PM IST

New Delhi: With the formal process of
constituting a JPC set to be put in motion on Tuesday, Congress
President Sonia Gandhi held a strategy session with senior
party leaders on the way ahead.

Gandhi held deliberations with senior Ministers Pranab
Mukherjee, AK Antony and P Chidambaram at a time when search
is on for a Chairman of the proposed JPC as also its members.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and
political secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel were
also present during the talks.

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

Government`s thinking as of now appears to be restricting
the JPC to 21 members but the opposition is pressing for
making it a 30-member body.

While it may be a fact that as per rules only one
Parliamentary Committee could look into an issue, but
Government sources say that the work of the Public Accounts
Comitteee would continue despite the setting up of the JPC.

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

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

A section of the Congress suggests that there was a
method in the "madness" for late acceptance of the JPC demand
as the Government has ensured intensive investigations into
the scam which has seen a former Cabinet Minister being sent
to Tihar jail and the high and the mighty being questioned by
probe agencies.

"If JPC had been set up early, then it would have taken
all the credit for all these acts," said a Congress leader
adding that the proposed body has now precious little to do
and the months ahead could see some confusion due to the
parallel investigations.

PTI