New Delhi: Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, who recused himself from Parliament's Standing Committee going into Lokpal issue, could continue as a member of the panel with the party on Thursday saying it is yet to decide on the matter.

"Manish Tewari has expressed his views but the party has taken no such decision. The members of Standing Committees are appointed by Lok Sabha Speaker and Chairman of Rajya Sabha on the recommendations of political parties," said AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

His comments came in reply to questions about Tewari's announcement yesterday that he recuses himself from the Committee as he did want to cast a shadow on the deliberations of Lokpal Bill.

Commenting on Tewari's offer to recuse, a senior Congress leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that while Tewari may have expressed his sentiments, the party does not agree to his decision to opt out of the panel.

Sources in the party said Tewari, a senior lawyer, will be asked to continue in the Committee, which is to be reconstituted in the next few days as its term came to an end on August 31. The leader termed Tewari's decision to recuse himself from the Committee as "unnecessary" saying he should have waited for the party to take a decision on it.

"He should not have taken this step and faced things boldly. There was no need for him to recuse himself from the committee and he should have talked to party leadership before taking any such step," he said.

The deliberations over the Lokpal issue in the Standing Committee headed by Abhishek Singhvi, are expected to be quite stormy with serious disagreements between Government and Civil society members on many provisions of Jan Lokpal bill. Hence Congress would like to see its legal brains there.

Tewari's decision to opt out of the panel had apparently been prompted by the flak he drew for accusing Anna Hazare of being "steeped in corruption" ahead of his fast.

The Congress spokesperson yesterday said, "I am all for a strong and effective Lokpal. I do not want any controversy to cast a shadow on the deliberations of this important bill. I, therefore, recuse myself from the Standing Committee."

He said that he had seen speculation in the press with regard to his continuance as a member of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice and hence he decided to recuse himself.

Two days before Hazare was due to commence his fast in Delhi on August 16, the activist was targeted by the Congress spokesperson for the first time when Tewari cited Sawant Commission report and accused him of being "steeped in corruption from head to toe".

Tewari, while going ballistic against Hazare, had earlier also said that Team Anna comprised "armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists funded by invisible donors". Tewari's comments had evoked strong reactions from Hazare's supporters.

A few days back, Tewari, however, apologised for levelling allegations against Hazare and appealed to the Gandhian to call off his fast.

But the apology by the Congress MP from Punjab did not cut much ice with Hazare since the anti-corruption crusader's lawyer Milind Pawar said a case of defamation would be filed against Tewari in a Pune court next week.

(Agencies)