All-party meeting called on Tuesday to end parliament stalemate
In a bid to break the logjam in parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called a meeting of political parties on Tuesday over the opposition's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2010 21:18 IST
In a bid to break the logjam in parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called a meeting of political parties on Tuesday over the opposition's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
"I have called a meeting tomorrow. Let me see what happens. I will be trying and making an effort," the speaker said.
She added that she was hopeful about the meeting ending the stalemate in parliament, which was adjourned for the 12th successive day Monday following the opposition's insistence on a JPC.
Ahead of the meeting, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies to firm up the government's response.
After the nearly two-hour meeting attended by UPA constituents including Nationalist Congress Party, DMK, National Conference and the Trinamool Congress, Mukherjee again appealed to the opposition to give up its demand for a JPC probe.
"I am renewing my appeal to the opposition," he said.
Mukherjee said he had made an appeal Sunday to senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj to give up the party's demand for JPC. He said in the meeting he had "shared the situation" with the UPA allies.
Agriculture Minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar said the UPA constituents decided on a "collective approach" to the issue.
Trinamool Congress leaders said they were supporting the government.
"We are supporting the government," Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay told IANS.
Other UPA allies also expressed support on the stance taken by government, which maintains there is no need for JPC as the Public Accounts Committee, headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, was already looking into the Comptroller and Auditor General report on the 2G spectrum allocation.
The government has held two rounds of talks with opposition leaders to end the stalemate but without success.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Congress was sticking to its "no JPC" position though all concerned understand that the JPC has wide powers.
"The Congress is adamant. The opposition's reasons are out and clear. We want a JPC," she said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said there was a possibility of the JPC working along political lines.
"They (the Opposition) are just saying the same thing... I think they are saying something and mean something else," he said.