JPC victory in Pranab meet: Oppn | delhi | Hindustan Times
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JPC victory in Pranab meet: Oppn

delhi Updated: Feb 09, 2011 10:44 IST
HT Correspondents

"The government thinks no price is higher than what would ensure smooth running of the House," said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee at the all-party meeting here on Tuesday.

Mukherjee's remarks saw the Opposition leaders emerging from the meeting claiming they got a "feeling" that the government was "inching towards" an agreement for setting up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum scam.

Congress sources, however, said nothing could be said with certainty as of now. Mukherjee merely told reporters that it was a "very good" discussion.

But Opposition leader pointed out that Mukherjee did not, for the first time, offer any argument on why the government was not in favour of a JPC and, instead, heard all of the Opposition leaders "patiently."

In earlier meetings, Opposition leaders said, Mukherjee had questioned the rationale for a JPC because the CBI, the public accounts committee (PAC) and the Supreme Court were looking into the case.

On Tuesday, Mukherjee, however, assured the Opposition he'd get back after consulting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The meeting was a fresh attempt to break the Parliament deadlock to save the budget session. Earlier attempts of the government and speaker Meira Kumar during the winter session had failed.

Contrary to Congress expectations, the Opposition ranks didn't split.

The leaders, including those of the BJP, Left, SP and BSP, who spoke at the meeting, were unanimous on the point that a JPC was necessary. Only two voices were different.

Union minister Farooq Abdullah said, "My grandchildren don't want to see Parliament disrupted."

DMK's TR Baalu said, "It's the budget session. Let's discuss the budget, and then other things."