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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Govt, Oppn gearing up for duel on JPC probe outside Parliament

PTI  New Delhi, December 12, 2010
First Published: 13:02 IST(12/12/2010) | Last Updated: 11:01 IST(13/12/2010)

With the issue of corruption taking centrestage, confrontation between the Government and the Opposition over JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation appears set to spill over outside Parliament from next week.

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Battlelines will be drawn by rival sides after the conclusion of the 'wasted' Winter session on Monday which saw the longest-ever shutdown of Parliament by the Opposition in the wake of scams, including the ones related to Adarsh Housing Society and the Commonwealth Games.

The Opposition has announced plans to hold a rally against corruption at the historic Ram Lila Maidan in New Delhi on December 22 as part of plans to keep the issue more than alive till the Budget session due late February.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to reveal the party's strategy at the General Body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).

The Congress plenary is also scheduled here from December 18 which is likely to chalk out the future course of action to meet the Opposition challenge. This is the first plenary after the Congress-led UPA came to power for the second time in 2009.

A section of the UPA apprehends that if the Parliamentary stalemate persisted to the next year, it could raise the possibility of mid-term elections. However, Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh do not subscribe to such a possibility.

The Left parties are also expected to hold consultations with like-minded non-Congress, non-BJP parties like TDP, BJD, AIADMK and RLD over the next course of action.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said the National Council of his party would be meeting in Hyderabad from December 14 to 16 and consultations were possible that time or soon after the meeting.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has already said it would be most unfortunate if the Parliament stalemate extends to the Budget session as it would be an irreparable damage to Parliamentary democracy.

Strongly backing a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe into the spectrum issue, Senior Congress leader V Kishore Chandra Deo said constitution of JPC would only amount to weakening of Committee system in Parliament which has yielded positive results.

Deo said a JPC would enjoy "no separate or extra powers" that are available to the PAC which can also summon "any paper or person provided that the same relate to the subject matter under examination of the Committee".


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