इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 10:30:10      انڈین آواز

2G scam: Govt relents, ready for JPC

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Congress leader privy to the government affairs here said a 21-member JPC is likely to be constituted to probe the issue and a formal announcement is expected to be made during the budget session, which begins next week.

The one-month-long winter session was a complete washout as the opposition was unwilling to agree for anything less than a JPC. Congress top brass including party chief Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh held deliberations on Monday to chalk out a strategy for smooth functioning of the parliament.

Congress gave enough indications that it might not be averse to a JPC to probe the 2G scam if the opposition is ready for a prior debate and agree to modalities for such a probe. This was the first interaction among the senior leaders after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the Leader of Lok Sabha, convened an all-party meeting last week to break the logjam in Parliament on the opposition demand for a JPC into the 2G spectrum issue. Mukherjee had assured the opposition leaders that he would get back to them after consulting the Prime Minister. The entire Winter Session of Parliament was washed out following the deadlock.

The meeting assumes significance as the government also has to decide on the bills to be brought in the upcoming session as also give finishing touches to the budget 2011-12 which will be presented by Mukherjee on 28th February. The Union Cabinet will discuss the JPC issue on Tuesday to consider the President’s address to Parliament on the opening day of budget session on February 21.

The Presidential address to the joint sitting of Parliament comes out with the government’s policies for the year and views on various topical issues. Mukherjee will also meet party leaders at the AICC headquarters on Tuesday to seek suggestions from them on the Budget. “Democratic institutions must be allowed to function…What modus operandi …it is for the Government and the opposition to work it out”, party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters here .

Tewari said that Congress has been consistently demanding a debate in Parliament on the issue. “Opposition should not run away from a debate. The demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe should not become a subterfuge to run away from debate. Debate on the floor of the House is a fair, legitimate and just demand”, he said.

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