This Article is From Feb 08, 2011

2G scam: Pranab holds all-party meet to break Parliament impasse

New Delhi: With the BJP and the Left unrelenting on the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) demand into the 2G spectrum scam, government initiative to break the deadlock in Parliament could make headway if Finance Minister and Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee comes up with some new proposal acceptable to the Opposition.

The Finance Minister held a meeting of leaders of all political parties today in a bid to 'save' the three-month-long Budget Session that starts in just a few days from now.

His earlier attempts to persuade the Opposition to give up its demand for a JPC probe were not successful.

CPM Parliamentary Party leader Sitaram Yechury on Monday said that the arrest of former Telecom Minister A Raja and findings of the Shivraj Patil Committee have reinforced the demand for JPC into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"We want the House to function. Whether the House will function or not, that is the responsibility of the government. If it remains obdurate like it remains now that there is no JPC, the responsibility of functioning of Parliament is on the government," Yechury told reporters.

Asked whether the Left would agree to have a discussion on the need for JPC in Parliament, he said there was no such proposal from the government in this regard. "Let us see the proposal. We are hearing it from you (media) people. It's not a government proposal. It's your proposal. First let the government say what they want. Parliament will function when the government comes up and say what they want. They have not come up with any proposals," he said.

BJP leaders including L K Advani have said that the party-led NDA stands by the demand of JPC and there is "no dilution". BJP-led NDA is sticking to its demand for a JPC probe into the three scams related to 2G spectrum allocation, Adarsh Housing Society and Commonwealth Games preparations.

Congress, which is opposed to the JPC, appeared soft on the issue with party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan recently remarking that the party was "open" to discussing  a resolution which entails voting in Parliament on the issue of JPC. (Read: JPC will lead to duplication in probe, Govt tells MPs)

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has held three rounds of talks with leaders of political parties to ensure smooth functioning of the Budget Session after the longest shutdown of Parliament in the Winter Session on the JPC issue.