Defiant Jaswant Holds PAC Meeting; BJP Members Absent

In defiance of party instructions, expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh held a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, of which he is chairman, the post BJP wants him to quit following expulsion.

Singh, appointed chairman of the committee, that scrutinizes government expenditure, when he was in BJP, called a meeting of 22-member PAC.

Three BJP MPs – Gopinath Munde, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar – who are members of the committee, did not attend the meeting.

Earlier, on the ground of “morality”, BJP had asked the MP from Darjeeling to quit the parliamentary panel post.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had said: “According to parliamentary tradition, the post of the PAC chairman goes to a Lok Sabha member of the principal opposition party. And he (Singh) was assigned the crucial position for being in the party. Now that he has been expelled, the party will take a call soon.”

While Jaswant, in combative mood, declined to resign arguing that the decision has to be taken by the Speaker and not a political party.

Jaswant was expelled from the party in the wake of release of his book “Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence’, in which he held that the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah had been unfairly demonised in India.

His sacking triggered a political turmoil in the party.

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