The meeting between the government and the BJP called by the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Thursday did not make any forward movement, but helped in scaling down the tension between the two sides on the issue of setting up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum scam.
Both sides stuck to their stands but the aggressive posturing, visible during the recently concluded winter session of parliament, was missing during the luncheon meeting.
The government and the BJP conceded that any further disruptions in parliament proceedings may not help either side.
Kumar met leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee, leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj, BJP veteran LK Advani, parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal and his deputy V Narayansamy.
“Both sides are very keen that the next session should run in order. I am very, very optimistic,” she said after the meeting. She was hopeful that the two sides would be able to find a common ground.
Leaders of non-BJP parties will meet the Speaker and the government side on Friday to discuss the issue.
After the meeting, Swaraj tweeted: “We have not given up our demand for JPC. In fact, we reiterated it in today’s meeting.’’
At the meeting itself, the BJP leaders are understood to have asked the government to spell out the reasons behind its difficulty in accepting their demand for a JPC probe. They are learnt to have pointed out that even some of the UPA allies were in favour of such a probe.
From the government side, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee explained that since multiple probes were already on, any fresh inquiry would only add to the confusion.