Oppn won't bend, Govt under pressure to call JPC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Oppn won't bend, Govt under pressure to call JPC

delhi Updated: Dec 07, 2010 13:34 IST

With no signs of a breakthrough to end the impasse that has paralysed Parliament for the last three weeks, another day of deadlock is in sight today. Opposition parties refuse to take back their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam and few UPA allies seem to agree with the demand, it is a tough call for the government.

Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the 18th successive day Tuesday over the opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum controversy.

In the Lok Sabha, opposition members came near Speaker Meira Kumar as soon as the house met and raised slogans, demanding the JPC. She urged them to go back to their seats but the opposition members did not relent. She then adjourned the house for the day.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha where Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the question hour as soon as the house met. However, opposition members continued pressing their demand for a JPC. The chairman adjourned the house.

On Monday night, a meeting of UPA allies convened by Congress to explore ways to break the prolonged logjam in Parliament was postponed at the last moment sparking murmurs of division in the ruling alliance.

The meeting convened by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is now expected to be held in a couple of days.

The reason being cited for the postponement was that a number of leaders of allies were not in Delhi as they could
not get information in time about the meeting.

As the last-minute postponement raised questions whether there was any serious differences within the UPA on its
approach for a JPC probe, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar dismissed any talk of split in the ruling coalition over the
opposition demand.

"Where is the question of split. We discuss," was the refrain of Pawar after a meeting with Mukherjee, who is the
Leader of the Lok Sabha.

Asked whether some of the UPA allies held different views than that of the Congress which is opposed to formation
of the Joint Parliamentary Committee(JPC), Pawar said "it will be a collective decision."

"I don't think any change is there. Opposition is insisting on JPC. Government thinks Public Accounts Committee
is sufficient," he added.

Trinamool Congress, a key UPA ally, is reported to be in favour of Government considering a JPC probe.

At the same time, Trinamool chief and Railway minister Mamata Banerjee said her party would fully agree to whatever
decision Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would take on a JPC probe.

"I have been talking for a long time that we are for the truth to come out in the 2G spectrum issue", Banerjee
told PTI over phone when specifically asked if she supports the JPC to end the continuing stalemate in Parliament.

Government on its part maintained that it was under no pressure from anyone and that there is no JPC as of now.

"As of now there is no JPC" was the refrain of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal when asked whether there was any pressure from the allies on the government to concede to the Opposition's demand.

"We are under no pressure from anyone. But then we keep on discussing things. It is a dynamic process. Meetings do
take place from time to time," said Bansal, who has made a strong pitch against JPC.

(With PTI inputs)