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  India   Politics  22 Feb 2018  Left seeks JPC probe, TMC opposes

Left seeks JPC probe, TMC opposes

Published : Feb 22, 2018, 1:37 am IST
Updated : Feb 22, 2018, 1:37 am IST

The only concrete demand for a JPC has come from the Left parties — CPI(M) and CPI.

Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala (Photo: PTI)
 Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Opposition camp was sharply divided on Wedne-sday over the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Punjab National Bank scam. While the Trinamul Congress opposed the demand for a JPC, the Left parties pitched hard for it. The Congress which had last week said it would reach out to other parties on the JPC has been quiet since then.

Congress chief spokespe-rson Randeep Surjewala had on Saturday said that Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjuna Kharge, Leaders of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively, have been assigned the task by the party’s steering committee to speak to all other parties and arrive at a strategy in Parliament.

“Whether to demand a JPC or anything else will be decided by the Oppos-ition parties,” he had said.

On Wednesday, sources in the Congress, however, said that since only one session of Parliament was left before the government goes into election mode, there was no point in demanding a JPC probe.

On somewhat similar lines, the Trinamul Congress on Wednesday said that it does not support the demand for a JPC as it would send any probe into cold storage.

TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien said no JPC formed till now has helped probe any of the scams. “While the Bofors scam JPC was rejected by Parliament, the JPC into Harshad Mehta affair was not tabled, action is pending in the Ketan Parekh JPC report. We do not want JPC. It cannot be the solution. We believe that the truth should come out fast,” Mr O’Brien said.

Sources in the party, however, indicated that it was more a game of one-upmanship with the Congress. “The Congress should have consulted other parties before speaking out on the need a JPC and hence the Trinamul Congress was taking an independent stand. “They cannot decide for others,” a senior leader said.  

It might be recalled that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has thrown in her hat as the leader of any Opposition platform if it is formed before the 2019 polls. This effectively means that she has refused to accept Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the Opposition grouping.

The only concrete demand for a JPC has come from the Left parties — CPI(M) and CPI.

The CPI(M) in a statement said: “This case nee-ds to be probed thoroughly. In the previous instances of financial frauds of Harshad Mehta or Ketan Parekh, JPCs were constituted and the then finance ministers had deposed before them and put in pl-ace corrective measures.”

Tags: joint parliamentary committee, randeep surjewala, mamata banerjee