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Parliamentary panel rejects Derek O'Brien's draft report on Air India sale

The report had advised against sale of the national carrier

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Air India

Most members of a parliamentary panel sought the withdrawal of a draft opposing the of at a stormy meeting today, prompting some opposition leaders to walk out in protest.

Sources, who were present in the meeting, told that the on Transport, today decided to withdraw the contentious draft

The panel's and TMC was not present at the meeting and it was chaired by member It could not be independently confirmed whether the panel, in the absence of its chairman, could decide to withdraw a

Without going into details, said, "and parliamentary institutions are being destroyed by this They (BJP) need counselling".

When asked about the developments at the meeting, he said proceedings related to parliamentary panel cannot be discussed with the media.

In its draft report, the committee had said it was not an appropriate time to divest stake in and that the should be given at least five years to revive.

Out of the 31-member panel, 16 had given in writing their opposition to adopting the draft report. The majority of these members, who are in favour of selling the government's stake in the national carrier, are from the ruling

Strongly objecting to withdrawal of the report, three opposition members -- Kumari Shelja (Congress), Arpita Ghosh (TMC) and Ritabrata Banerjee, who was removed from CPI(M) -- walked out of the meeting, sources said.

All the three members said the officiating had acted in a dictatorial manner and asserted that only the had the power to withdraw a report, sources said.

The maintained that he was following the rule book by withdrawing the draft report as majority of members were opposing the draft report, sources added.

"Any decision taken without the consent of the (panel's) chairman is legally not valid," panel member and senior K C told

Further, said that officially the panel's discussion today was on Buddhist tourism circuit.

According to opposition members, draft report was not on the agenda of today's meeting, which was to discuss only about the development of the Buddhist circuit in the country.

There are 31 MPs in all in the committee, with 15 from the BJP, and one each from its allies TDP and Apna Dal and RLSP. Three are from the Congress, three from the TMC and one each from SP, YSR Congress, RJD, NCP, BJD, CPI(M) and AIADMK.

First Published: Tue, January 16 2018. 02:00 IST