M.M. Joshi to head PAC for 2nd term

Senior BJP leader M.M. Joshi is likely to continue as chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for a second term. As per parliamentary convention, the post goes to the main Opposition party and, therefore, had gone to the BJP, which had nominated Dr Joshi in May last year.

Party sources said a majority of the BJP top brass is in favour of Dr Joshi continuing as the PAC chief, which is currently also probing the 2G spectrum scam, and the party is in no mood to affect the probe by not continuing with Dr Joshi. Also, BJP does not want to give any chance to Opposition parties, especially the Congress, to make an issue if Dr Joshi is not continued, sources said.
It could be mentioned that when the Opposition parties, including the BJP, was persistently demanding a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the Congress had welcomed the PAC probe into the 2G spectrum scam and questioned whether the BJP lacked faith in its own leader who was heading the PAC. Also, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also written a letter to the PAC saying he was ready to appear before the committee should it choose to seek clarification from him with regard to 2G spectrum allocation.
Meanwhile, a motion has been moved in the Lok Sabha for election of the new PAC chairman whose term will begin from May 1.
Sources said a meeting in this regard was held recently which was also attended by both the Leaders of the Opposition and BJP Parliamentary Party chief L.K. Advani. Party chief Nitin Gadkari is in favour of Dr Joshi continuing in the post as the BJP is leading a campaign against the corruption issue. Differences had cropped up in the BJP over Dr Joshi going ahead with the spectrum probe when the government had not conceded the JPC. Some party leaders were of the view that it was coming in the way of the BJP’s demand for JPC, but both Dr Joshi and the BJP top brass had denied any rift on the issue.

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