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JPC on cards as budget session begins today

CNN-IBN
Feb 21, 2011 at 10:42am IST

New Delhi: The crucial budget session of Parliament will begin on Monday. CNN-IBN has learnt that the Opposition and the government have reached the near consensus to break the parliament deadlock over the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe in the 2G scam.

After a long and washed out winter session, the ice finally seems to be breaking.

On Sunday, a day before the crucial budget session of Parliament, the Prime Minister attended an all party luncheon meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, to join in the talks to end the impasse and indications are that the government may concede to the Opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the 2G Scam as early as Tuesday.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "We are looking for a fruitful session and we are ready to discuss all the issues."

The government so far has been insisting that a debate should precede any formal announcement on JPC, that a motion be moved and debated on Tuesday and then adopted very the next day. The Opposition however has put its foot down.

BJP Deputy Leader, Lok Sabha, Gopinath Munde said that the government on February 22 should announce that a JPC will be formed, only then will a condusive atmosphere be created for the smooth functioning of the house."

BJP spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said corruption remains the main issue and that it has to be discussed be it in the CWG scam, S-band spectrum scam or the 2G scam.

CPI Leader D Raja said the Prime Minister could not give any convincing reply on the S-band spectrum allocation during his interaction with the media. "The S-band spectrum allocation is equally important as the 2G scam and the Prime Minister has to make a statement on it," he said.

Reacting to the BJP's demand for a JPC in not just the 2G scam but on CWG and S-band scam too, Congress leader Jagdambika Pal said, "This is no way to run the House and JPC has to be constituted on a particular subject."

The Opposition has however assured the government that it will not disrupt proceedings during the Presidential address on Monday morning. But it insists that the first thing in the agenda item on Tuesday should be the announcement on constituting a JPC.

Post the annual Presidential address to the joint session, the matter will again be taken up in the Business Advisory Committee of the Lok Sabha on Monday afternoon. Till then, at least on the modalities and terms of reference of the proposed committee, the government is keeping its cards close to the chest.

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