Mamata meets Pranab, expresses support to PM on 2G issue

Friday, November 19, 2010

KOLKATA - Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday night expressed her party’s support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the telecom spectrum controversy but said the truth should come out on the scam.

“We were with the prime minister. We are with the prime minister. We will be with the prime minister. We will meet the challenges of the opposition unitedly in parliament,” Banerjee told newspersons after a late night meeting with Congress stalwart and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here.

“We are committed to supporting the UPA (United Progressive Alliance government) for five years. We will fulfil our commitment. And the UPA will complete its term,” Banerjee, also the Railways Minister, said after the meeting at Mukherjee’s South Kolkata residence.

Banerjee, however, said her party was in favour of a discussion on the issue in parliament. “We want discussions. And we want the truth to come out”.

Banerjee’s party is the second largest constituent of the UPA after the Congress.

Mukherjee said he had requested Banerjee to sit with him in view of the logjam in parliament for the sixth day Friday with opposition MPs persisting with their demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allotment scam that has enveloped Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“She has already met the prime minister in parliament and expressed her full support to him. She has said she would go with whatever the government decides on the issue,” said Mukherjee.

Referring to her meeting with the prime minister, Banerjee said: “I think we are the first constituent to meet the PM and express support. Issues can always crop up and they have to be discussed. But our support will be there for the prime minister and the UPA.”

Supreme Court judges G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly had asked two days ago why the prime minister did not give sanction to Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy in 2008 to file a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against A. Raja, who resigned as the telecommunication minister five days ago over the 2G spectrum controversy.

The improper allocation of 2G frequencies to telecom companies by Raja is estimated to have cost the exchequer Rs.176,000 crore (Rs.1.76 trillion/approx $39 billion).

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