Dialogue is the only way to solve deadlock: Meira Kumar

Friday, December 24, 2010

KOLKATA - Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Friday said dialogue is the only way in a democracy to solve a deadlock like the one witnessed during the winter session of parliament over the 2G spectrum scam and appealed to all the political parties to find a solution.

“When there are two different contrasting views, we have to find a solution… Dialogue is the only way. We can solve the problems by dialogue. We have already started the process and we will take it forward,” Meira Kumar told reporters.

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

The opposition has been demanding the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum which caused huge losses to the national exchequer.

“I cannot be seen as aligned with one side. So let them decide between themselves,” she said, replying to a question on the JPC issue.

On union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s offer of a special session to discuss the need for a JPC probe, she said: “What is going to be the final take on it, I am still not aware. Whatever is the final decision, it will be done.”

She was speaking at an interactive session jointly organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce and the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata.

“I am again calling on parties to find a solution. We feel that a way will come out. I want to say that no one of us wants this. I have high regard and respect for all the MPs. I believe that they also don’t want this,” said Meira Kumar.

Parliament was adjourned sine die Dec 13, ending the most unproductive month-long winter session that saw only seven of the 138 hours of business conducted.

The logjam led to a loss of Rs.7.8 crore a day to the national exchequer, which translates into Rs.1.3 crore per hour as each sitting is of six hours each day. That means nearly Rs.172 crore (Rs.1.72 billion) of the Indian taxpayer’s money was wasted, according to official estimates.

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