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Speaker dismisses opposition demand to remove Chacko as JPC chief

New Delhi, May 3 (): Ruling out the demand of the opposition to remove P C Chacko as chairperson of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on telecom, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Thursday said that it is not appropriate to remove the Chairman of any Parliamentary committee.

Following the declaration of the speaker to reject the demand for removal of P C Chacko, the opposition and the ruling Congress are intensely persuading the Samajwadi Party expecting the party to bring a balance in the panel.

While the Congress believes that Mulayam Singh Yadav will back Chacko in the committee, the leaders from opposition are trying to convince the Samajwadi chief claiming that a vote is the one which the JPC should not be related in either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

Even as most Opposition parties staged a walkout, the Congress drew relief from SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) firmly supporting the government over finance bill. According to the present situation, the only hope left for the Congress is the Samajwadi Party.

As per the current situation, a 30-member committee has been divided with 15 MPs against Chacko. The Congress therefore might be expecting the SP member to make certain that UPA, along with BSP, also adds up to 15 MPs so that Chacko can use his casting vote to break a tie in the government’s favour.

Sources said after government rejecting speculation of the Budget session to be shortened, Chacko might even seek an extension of the committee in case he is finding difficulties in holding a meeting of the panel. It is also not quite sure whether the JPC is to meet before the Budget session ends on May 10 as it has to be seen how far the Congress takes risk in convening a meeting of the committee.

The Speaker meanwhile has also rejected the demand of the Congress MPs for removal of BJPs Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and Ravishankar Prasad as members on grounds of “conflict of interest”.