Ready for special parliament session to debate JPC: Pranab

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NEW DELHI - Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday said he was ready to call a special session of parliament to debate the need for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, adding that he was “sad” that he could not end the winter session logjam.

“If they (the opposition) assure that there will be a debate, I am ready to call a special session of parliament before the budget session. So that let this issue be debated in the presence of the Indian public opinion … that whether there is a need of a JPC in the context of all the steps which have been taken not from right now but from 2009,” Mukherjee, who is Leader of the Lok Sabha, said at an award function here organised by CNN-IBN.

“Let there be a debate, parliament is meant for that,” he said.

Proceedings in both houses of parliament were disrupted throughout most of its winter session over the opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation.

Mukherjee had held repeated parleys with the opposition to resolve the logjam in parliament, but failed.

“Not to allow the institution to function simply by raising slogans, creating a situation where there is forced adjournments ultimately causes hurt to the institution … And naturally as leader of the house of Lok Sabha I feel sad that I could not carry conviction with my colleague on the other side of the chair that they should allow the institution to function,” Mukherjee said.

He added: “Every issue can be debated, of course within the constitutional framework, rules, regulations for which parliament is meant … Nobody else make rules for how parliament will function, these are made by the members of the parliament.

“I am appealing (that) let (the) institution function because (the) institution is the strength.”

In a scathing attack on the Congress at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rally at Ramlila grounds here Wednesday, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley asked Prime Minister Mamohan Singh to give up his job if he was not ready to face a JPC probe into the raging spectrum scandal.

Jaitley argued that only a JPC would be able to find out why second-generation spectrum was allotted at below market prices in 2008 by the now disgraced DMK leader and former communications minister A. Raja.

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