Not worried about JPC: PM

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 18 2011, 05:22am hrs
Sending out a strong signal to ambitious snipers in his party and the government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday offered to appear before a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), putting an end to all insinuations and innuendos in both the ruling and the opposition parties about his reluctance to set up a JPC on 2G spectrum scam.

I am not afraid of appearing before any committee. The PAC is a joint parliamentary committee presided over by a very senior member of the opposition. I have publicly declared that I am willing to appear before the PAC. So I am not afraid of appearing before any committee including a JPC. And this is entirely a wrong impression that I was the one who was blocking the agreement about the JPC because I did not want to appear before the JPC. I have always said that as PM my conduct must be like Caesars wife above suspicion and I am quite prepared to appear before any committee that may go into this, he said.

Hours after the PM's remarks, FM Pranab Mukherjee along with Cabinet colleagues P Chidambaram, AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and PK Bansal held discussions with senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to find ways to break the impasse in Parliament. We re-iterated our demand for JPC. We requested that announcement for the formation of the JPC should be made on February 22 itself so that Parliament may resume functioning from that very day. We are hopeful that the government will accept our demand and impasse will be broken, Swaraj tweeted after the meeting.

A combative Prime Minister tore into the BJP attributing its hostile attitude against the government to its demand to reverse the decision against a minister in Gujarat. Sources in the ruling dispensation later said that the PM was referring to the CBI's case against former Gujarat minister Amit Shah who had been arrested for his alleged role in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.