New JPC members' row disrupts Rajya Sabha

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 29, 2013 12:10 hrs

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha was Thursday adjourned for the day after protests over adoption of a motion to appoint two members to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G spectrum.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla moved the motion regarding the appointment to examine matters related to allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley opposed the move, saying that the government could not decide who the nominees would be.

"The precedent they are setting is a very dangerous one," he said. He got the support of other political parties.

Communist Party of India-Marxist's Sitaram Yechury said the vacant positions should be filled with members from the same party who have left the JPC.

He said: "A Congress and a DMK member had quit, so as per tradition and convention same party (member) should be the replacement. The minister should have consulted all members before appointing new members."

As the protests continued, Shukla said the members should vote on the matter but the opposition rejected the idea.

Amid the commotion, Deputy Chairperson P.J. Kurien allowed Shukla to move the motion and pass it.

This led to chaos. Many members came to the deputy chairperson's podium and the house was adjourned till 2 p.m.

After the house reassembled, BJP continued protesting.

"For parliament to function it is necessary to have proportional participation of all political parties. Government cannot take any decision on parliamentary committee without involving opposition," said BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Shukla defended the move saying that consent of all political parties was taken.

"I have consulted all political parties, including BJP and even Leader of Opposition (Jaitley) was consulted," said Shukla.

The vacancies were caused in the wake of retirement of DMK's Tiruchi Siva from the Rajya Sabha and the resignation of Congress member E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan from the JPC.

The government had named P. Bhattacharya of the Congress and nominated member Ashok S. Ganguly to the committee.

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