Constitute JPC immediately for smooth budget session: BJP

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday said the government should immediately announce a probe by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into the 2G spectrum scam for a smooth functioning of parliament during its budget session.

The Congress, however, refused to comment on the opposition demand for a parliamentary committee to probe the financial irregularities in the allocation of second-generation telephony spectrum, marking a shift from its earlier steadfast opposition to the demand.

BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said the government should constitute the JPC immediately.

The responsibility for smooth functioning of parliament is primarily of the government. While the BJP wants that parliament should discharge its responsibilities, the government must also facilitate the same by constituting the JPC, Hussain said.

He said the BJP will not budge from its demand for a JPC and said the house will be able to function smoothly only after the oppositions demand is met.

The BJP spokesman said his party will wait for the announcement from the government till the start of the budget session.

The government had at an all-party meeting Tuesday indicated it was giving up resistance to the oppositions demand for a JPC.

Leaders who attended the meeting later said that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told them in his concluding remarks that no price was dearer than the price of running parliament.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari did not comment on queries about the partys stance on a JPC following Tuesdays meeting.

A meeting took place on the initiative of leader of house in the Lok Sabha (Pranab Mukherjee). All the parties responded. As there is a process under way, the party would not go further than this, he said.

The Congress earlier opposed the demand for a JPC, saying that a probe has already been instituted by the government into 2G spectrum controversy and the Public Accounts Committee of parliament was also looking into the matter.

Another meeting between the opposition parties and the government is slated to take place on the eve of the budget session that begins Feb 21.

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