The Supreme Court's observations on the 2G spectrum scam gave the Opposition a big boost on Tuesday, even as the government unsuccessfully tried to break the parliamentary logjam over the Opposition's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the recent scandals that had rocked the country: the 2G spectrum scam, the Adarsh housing society scam and scams related to the Commonwealth Games preparations.
Parliament was stalled for the fourth day on Tuesday over the issue as slogan shouting members of the opposition trooped into the well.
Amid the din, the government tabled the CAG report, which indicts former telecom minister A Raja for allocating spectrum for mobile telephony in a manner that caused a loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore to the public exchequer.
Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee tried to find a middle course but failed. "There was no common ground in the two meetings Mukherjee had with the Opposition," said sources. Mukherjee, however, said he would get back to them after consulting the Prime Minister.
On Tuesday, Mukherjee and parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal first met BJP leaders LK Advani, Arun Jaitley and SS Ahluwalia. This was followed by Mukherjee’s all-party luncheon meeting. The Opposition stuck to its JPC demand.
"The PAC is a post-mortem committee. It only discusses the CAG report paragraph by paragraph and mostly deals with the accounting aspect. It will not discuss how and why the PM's advice on 2G spectrum was flouted or the misuse of power in allocations," Swaraj said she told the meeting.
"The government must agree to either a JPC probe or something similar," said CPM's Sitaram Yechury.
Within the ruling combine, the DMK said it would go by the government's decision on the matter.