A Congress ally on Thursday hinted at the possibility of mid-term general elections in case the deadlock over a JPC on the 2G spectrum scam persists during the budget session, too.
A senior leader of the UPA, also a key Union minister, said if the stalemate extended to the next session, the government could have little option but to “go to the people”, a clear hint that the ruling alliance could go for snap polls.
If Parliament disruption continues, the budget for 2011-12 will have to be passed in din and the government may not be able to push through any legislative measure, he said.
At an all-party meeting in November, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had talked about mid-term elections if the deadlock over the Opposition’s demand for a JPC into the 2G spectrum scam continued.
A section of the UPA is, however, of the view that going for a JPC would be good for the government as a ruling party member would head it and the coalition would be able to have its way, the leader said.
The Congress, on its part, has stood firm and refused to concede to the demand.
The Congress is formulating a strategy to counter a threat by the Opposition, particularly the BJP, to maintain its aggressive stand on a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation in the budget session as well.
The UPA’s “firm no” to the demand has resulted in the Opposition stalling the proceedings in Parliament for 20 consecutive working days so far.
The Congress, which has so far been on the defensive on the 2G spectrum scam, is now gearing up to put the BJP on the mat after the Supreme Court asked the government to widen the ambit of the CBI probe to cover the NDA regime when the first-come first-served policy was first introduced.
The UPA government has now set up a one-man panel to look into the procedures and policies from 2001 to 2009.
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday briefed Congress MPs on the 2G spectrum allocation issue so they are able to counter the Opposition charge “in a convincing manner”.
The pressure on the Congress from its allies on a JPC into the scam has also eased because of the recent developments, including CBI raids at the residences of former telecom minister A Raja.
On its part, the UPA has decided to close its ranks and put up a united front to counter any threat by the Opposition to carry the demand to the budget session.
A meeting of the UPA is being proposed after the winter session to give final shape to the strategy to take on the Opposition.
The NDA is also planning a rally on the issue after the current session.