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THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (SHRI ARUN JAITLEY): You are setting a wrong precedent and I will tell you the reason why. This is a Motion for filling up two vacancies in the JPC. Now, it is a JPC on 2G Spectrum Allocation. For the last few months, the Committee has not been functioning. Numbers matter; they are important, considering what is happening. From time immemorial, a Parliamentary Committee always represents the strength of various parties in the House. It is proportionate; it is never ‘winner takes all’. Otherwise, if a Resolution system is there, when a Committee is constituted, the Government, which may be in a majority, will say, ‘I propose a Resolution and all Members are mine.’ It has never happened. Now, you have, like a bye-election, two casual vacancies, and two casual vacancies have arisen. Now, two casual vacancies, therefore, have to be filled up in a manner, keeping the proportionate strength of the Government and the Opposition in mind. It can’t be that the Government proposes and takes both. That is against parliamentary norms and the precedent that they are setting is extremely dangerous, which would be far-reaching, and for future parliamentary history, it would have bad consequences. Therefore, the Minister must discuss this with important Members of the Opposition and if we can give an agreed name to him, have a proportionate representation, which is the in-built parliamentary rule. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: Sir, I would suggest, let the hon. Minister call a meeting of all the leaders. Let us all sit down and discuss it and, then, come to an agreement on that. Don’t push through something. You just call all of us -- we are all here-- and then decide.

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, we have discussed this with leaders of different political parties. It is not as if a Congress Party nominee’s name, or a UPA nominee’s name is being given in place of Mr. Siva. There are ten MPs nominated by the President of India. This time, we are giving one nomination to a person who has been nominated by the President of India. That block is there. …(Interruptions)...

 

SHRI BALBIR PUNJ: It is at your...(Interruptions)...

 

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: That block is there. And, most of the people have agreed on that. So, if the House has to decide it, it should be left to the House. And we are ready for a division.

 

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: That is exactly my opposition. It is not that you are nominating a Nominated Member.

 

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: Ultimately, the House is supreme. Let the House decide.

 

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Both the Members that you are nominating are Members of choice of the Government. Therefore, if the Government says, ‘by an absolute majority we can take both’, then, in future Parliamentary Committees, there could be a precedent of no Opposition representation and the winner taking it all.

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: There may be many other precedents also. Therefore, I am suggesting, let the House decide.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: That is the precedent you would be setting. Therefore, let the Chairman discuss this. It is a precedent which is going to have very dangerous consequences, where if there are two vacancies, Government takes both, because irrespective of who the Member is, both Members are of your choice. The Opposition's views are not taken into consideration. We are willing to request any one Member from the Opposition. Let Mr. Yechury and Dr. Maitreyan be there; we would ask Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad to be there; you discuss it with all the three of them and settle the matter.

 

SHRI RAJEEV SHUKLA: But I think the House is supreme, and let the House decide. ...(Interruptions)... the House should decide it. Discussions will keep on taking place. The other day also, no discussion took place. Let the House take a decision. The House is supreme, and I am ready for a division. ...(Interruptions)...

 

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: So, are you saying that this House would, henceforth, decide? Let us be very clear. Is it the Government's stand and, therefore, the stand of the ruling party, that in future when Parliamentary Committees are constituted, it would be done by a principle of 'winner takes all', and there would be no Opposition representative?

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