No need for JPC, says Pawar

Monday, December 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar Monday backed the government on its refusal to set up a joint parliamentary probe into the 2G spectrum allocation issue.

Pawar, after a meeting with senior Congress leader and union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, told reporters that the UPA stands firm on no need to have a JPC.

“The UPA has decided to evolve a collective approach on this issue and there will be no JPC,” Pawar said after the meeting with Mukherjee.

He also ruled out any possibility of adjourning parliament sine die ahead of the schedule on Dec 13.

Pawar met Mukherjee, who is leader of the Lok Sabha, at his North Block office.

A meeting of major constituents of the UPA that was to meet here in the evening to review the 17-day-old logjam in parliament and the opposition’s demand for a JPC was not held.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the meeting of UPA allies will be rescheduled.

Barring the first day of the ongoing winter session that began Nov 9, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have not functioned normally for a single day since then.

The two houses were adjourned Monday for the 17th successive day over the opposition’s relentless demand for a JPC to probe the allotment of second-generation (2G) telecom bandwidth to mobile companies in 2008.

The government equally determined not to set up such a panel maintains a Public Accounts Committee of the parliament, headed by an opposition MP, is already looking into the issue.

Joint protest by the entire opposition - the National Democratic Alliance, the Left parties and other parties - have paralysed parliament’s functioning with no substantial legislative business transacted in the winter session.

The UPA allies are to meet to iron out differences aired by some constituents, including the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, on the approach to a JPC.

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