Pawar, Patel in line of Opposition fire, JPC demanded

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 23, 2010 16:36 hrs

New Delhi: Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel on Friday came in the line of fire with Opposition making a strong demand for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the financial wrong-doings in IPL, a decision on which has been left to Prime Minister.

Parliament business was disrupted with the Opposition leaders demanding that only a JPC probe will have credibility as there were allegations of involvement of two ministers in the controversy.

While leaders attacked the two Ministers without taking their names, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha demanded outside Parliament their resignation in the interest of impartial probe. But his own party leaders did not appear to share his enthusiam on the resignation issue.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned after lunch without transacting any business with BJP members insisting on a JPC probe.

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Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj raked up the issue saying it was getting "more serious by the day" and demanded a JPC probe to save the dignity of the House and to throw light on the issue.

CPI leader in Lok Sabha described it as the "most serious fraud unparallelled in the history of independent India". He held that "unpardonable violation of law has taken place for the last two years under the nose of the government.

The two ministers, who belong to NCP, an important ally of the Congress at the Centre and in Maharashtra, were targeted in both the Houses but their names were not not taken.

The Oposition members described the alleged financial wrongdoings in the IPL as a huge scam and wanted to know "how many more Tharoors were there".

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Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor was forced to resign on Sunday following allegations of misuse of power by him to get sweat equity of the value of Rs 70 crore for his friend Sunanda Pushkar.

Alleging that two Ministers were under cloud for "gross misuse of power", opposition members stalled proceedings.

Responding to the demands, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Lok Sabha "it (a decision on JPC) is to be taken after due diligence and consideration. It cannot be like instant coffee or instant consideration".

Observing that the government will have to ponder over it, Mukherjee, who is also the Leader of the Lok Sabha, said, "I will communicate your sentiments to the Prime Minister. As and when the government takes a decision, we will come to Parliament. Let us wait for some time." 

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