JPC to bail out Gujral
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
The simmering crisis between the Congress and United Front may be resolved with the Gujral government planning to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Jain Commission report on Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.
This was indicated by Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral to Congress president Sitaram Kesri yesterday, a senior Communist Party of India leader told Rediff On The NeT.
Gujral also requested Kesri that the Congress should not take
any hasty decision on withdrawing support to the United Front and that Congressmen should study the
Commission's report, the CPI leader said.
Kesri, it is learnt, finally gave in to the prime minister's persuasion that the creation of the JPC would assuage the feelings of many Congressmen.
To calm down aggressive party colleagues, Kesri told a Congress Parliamentary Party meeting yesterday that he was second
to none in unravelling the truth behind Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.
Kesri also blasted former prime minister V P Singh and Dravida Munnetra Kazagham leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi -- both of whom have been indicted by the Commission -- to keep Congressmen in good humour, sources said.
The announcement about the creation of the JPC is likely to be made on Thursday, soon after the Jain Commission report is tabled in Parliament.
The creation of a JPC suits both the prime minister and the Congress chief as this would give them time to chalk out their respective strategies for survival.
That Kesri is trying to buy time became apparent from Congress spokesman V N Gadgil's statement.
Gadgil appealed to all sections of the society in general and politicians in particular not to react hastily
on the Jain Commission report.
''If what has appeared (about the report in the media) is true, then it raises serious issues affecting national security. It is, therefore, necessary not to make any comment before the report is tabled in the House,'' he said.
The Congress wanted a debate on the Commission report. ''It is our top priority,'' he added.
Sharad Pawar, Congress Parliamentary Party leader in the Lok Sabha, however, said the Congress was united on the Rajiv Gandhi assassination
issue. The party would demand the ouster of those indicted by
the Jain Commission from the United Front government, he said.
Following his meeting with Kesri, the prime minister
briefed the UF's core committee last evening. The committee expressed its support to the DMK.
After the meeting, UF spokesperson, Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy, told the media, ''In our perception, there is no threat to the government and unity of the Front.''
The core committee will meet again on Wednesday to review the political developments.
Karunanidhi has decided to stay back in the capital for the next two days to be available for consultations. Front convener and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu
Naidu met Karunanidhi at Tamil Nadu house before he left
for Hyderabad last night.
Summing up the TN chief minister's mood is his DMK colleague and nephew, Murasoli Maran. The Union industry minister said the DMK and the United Front were ready for a mid-term poll if the need arose.
''We are part of the United Front. We will stand and fall
together. I am hundred per cent confident of that,'' Maran
claimed in an interview to a private television channel on Sunday.
''If it were so easy to break the United Front, then it will be called the disunited front. No one is going to ditch their colleagues for a few loaves of power.''
The minister said there was no question of the DMK quitting
the government on its own if it were indicted by the Jain Commission.
''We have no reason to quit at all. The report is full of
recycled news. There is nothing startling about it, everybody
already knows what the report is saying,''
Maran said, denying that his party had anything to do with
Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.
''A Madras court is expected to give its verdict on a criminal case on the assassination on January 28. Let us wait till then to
know who was involved in the dastardly act. Until then, all this
In another significant development, Tamil Maanila Congress
leader G K Moopanar met Kesri at the latter's home on Monday morning.
During the 30-minute meeting, the two leaders reportedly discussed the Jain Commission report. Moopanar told newsmen later that Kesri was a close friend and that he has met him whenever he is in the capital.
The TMC has maintained that it would react to the report only after it is tabled in Parliament.
The TMC yesterday made it clear that its ally in Tamil Nadu -- the DMK -- should consult it on all major policy matters, indicating that differences have cropped up between the two.
As for the the Bharatiya Janata Party, the saffron brigade has decided to adopt a ''wait and watch posture''.
During the winter session of Parliament, the BJP will press for three notices under rule 184. These pertain to the Jain Commission report, conduct of Uttar Pradesh Governor Romesh Bhandari and the alarming situation in the North-East.
Reprieve for Gujral
UF parties warn Gujral against dumping DMK
Gujral may face serious trouble: Sonia aides
Congress calls MPs's meet on Jain panel
Gupta takes Congress to task
Kesri's ultimatum shocks UF
UF buys time with denial
Naidu-Moopanar-Karunanidhi meet spurs speculation
UF sits on 'time-bomb'
Govt will ask Jain panel to provide evidence
Jain report will have serious implications: Congress
Jain panel interim report indicts Karunanidhi, V P Singh, Chandra Shekhar
The leaked report does not feature my testimony before the Jain panel, but before another court: R Nagarajan
No action will follow the Jain Commission report: Aladi Aruna
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