Opposition should apologise to nation: Pranab

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NEW DELHI - A day after he offered an olive branch in the form of a special parliamentary session on the spectrum scam, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was in a combative mood, asserting that the opposition should apologise for not letting parliament function the entire winter session.

They have destroyed the institution. They should apologise to the nation, Mukherjee told reporters here Thursday.

He pointed out that it was the opposition that had stopped parliament from functioning this session.

On Wednesday, Mukherjee 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.

If they (opposition) assure that there will be a debate, I am ready to call a special session of parliament before the budget session, he said.

The opposition had reacted negatively to the suggestion, remaining adamant on the protest for a joint parliamentary committee.

“We have done a lot of talking. Now it is time for action,” said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.

According to the Communist Party of India’s D. Raja, there was nothing new in the government’s offer for a special parliament session on 2G. JPC is a reasonable demand. The government should not shy away from it.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had offered to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) but the opposition had rejected it, stating they were sticking to the demand for a JPC.

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