With all UPA allies standing firmly behind it, the Congress-led government again rejected the opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, dimming hopes for an end to the deadlock in parliament.
Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has now called an all-party meeting on Tuesday to end the stalemate.
The government, in a move to break the opposition unity played the RSS card, saying the BJP was working under the Sangh’s direction on the issue and that the Left and other parties do not support it over disrupting parliament.
In a day of hectic developments, the Congress held a two-hour luncheon meeting with its allies soon after the opposition stalled parliament proceedings for the 12th consecutive working day on Monday. The meeting assumed significance in the wake of reports that some UPA allies — Trinamool Congress and DMK — were not averse to a JPC probe.
But on Monday, the allies closed ranks and extended full support to the government on its “no JPC” stand. NCP boss Sharad Pawar said the entire UPA has decided for a “collective approach” to the issue.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee later renewed his appeal to the opposition to give up its demand, which was immediately turned down by the BJP. “Our demand is based on logical and justifiable reasons,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The Left and other opposition parties — AIADMK, TDP and the BJD — have also decided to meet President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday to urge her to advise the government to order a JPC probe into the scam.
But the government is unrelenting. “The opposition demand is politically motivated,” parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said. “Their sole objective is to call the Prime Minister or any other minister. But we are not ready to oblige them.”
The government has renewed its offer for debate on the issue and does not appear to be in a mood to adjourn parliament sine die before December 13 when the winter session is due to end.