No Wrong in Raja, Kalmadi Being Panel Members: Cong

Congress today saw nothing wrong in former Union Minister A Raja, the main accused in 2G spectrum scam, and Suresh Kalmadi, accused in the Commonwealth Games scam, being made members of Parliamentary Standing Committees.

"It is the right of a member of Parliament to be on a Committee, whatever may be charges or allegations. The members are not nominated by their party," party spokesman P C Chacko told reporters.

Chacko, who heads the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha, said every MP is entitled to be on a Committee and he "cannot be denied that privilege".

Asked whether Congress could tell controversial members like Kalmadi not to accept a Parliamentary Committee membership, he said, "I don't think that the party can do like that. It is a privilege."

He said members tell their choices for Parliamentary Committees and as per that they are made members.

Raja, who represents DMK in the Lok Sabha, has been nominated to the Standing Committee on Energy.

Kalmadi, Congress member of the Lok Sabha, has been nominated to the Standing Committee on External Affairs.

Parliamentary Standing Committees are considered mini-Parliament as they closely scrutinise bills and give suggestions on the proposed legislations.

Raja, who was arrested in connection with the 2G scam on February 2 last year, is on bail since May 15 this year.

Kalmadi also spent about nine months in jail before being released on bail on January 19 this year.

DMK MP Kanimozhi, who was also accused in some cases related to the 2G spectrum allocation, has been nominated to the Standing Committee on Home Affairs.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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