BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Former Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Murli Manohar Joshi was once again reappointed as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for more year notwithstanding the raging row over his report on the 2G scam even as the government rejected the BJP leader’s claim that majority does not count in finalising reports of the committee.
Joshi (77), who had trained his guns on the prime minister, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and also the home minister, was again nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), following which Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar reappointed him as chairman of the PAC.
The term of the previous committee had ended on April 30. Joshi had triggered a political storm with his draft report circulated among PAC members. 11 of the 21-member committee had rejected his report but Joshi had decided to submit it to the Speaker for being tabled in Parliament.
Joshi termed the rejection by the majority as “unconstitutional.”
“Going by Joshi’s queer theory, the entire democratic system would crumble with a minority in Parliament insisting on treating their views as the decision of the Parliament,” Bansal said adding that Joshi and the BJP should make amends for “inflicting a lacerating wound on Indian Democracy”.
He said this noting that Joshi at his press conference on Saturday had emphatically asserted: “Several members had demanded a division but some others had opposed it too. The numbers are not important, the process is. I don’t have to go by a majority…. They cannot reject the report.”
Bansal said in his anxiety to hurriedly get the PAC stamp of approval on his draft report, prepared by ignoring or twisting facts, Joshi has chosen to mislead the public by his assertions.
The BJP claimed that senior Union ministers, present in Parliament, passed slips to UPA members during the PAC meeting last week on the 2G scam issue which eventually ended in chaos.
“I think it is a bad precedent. They should be ashamed of what they are doing,” BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal termed the draft as “not a report” as it was not adopted by the Committee, but said it is for the Lok Sabha Speaker to decide on the matter.
Noting that decision by voting is inherent to democratic functioning of institutions, Bansal reminded Joshi that he himself had resorted to voting on April 15 when out of the members then present, NDA had the majority.
“He chose not to do so on 28/04/2011, when all the members of PAC were present and a majority of them had explicitly demanded voting on the draft report,” Bansal said.