Parliament deadlock: Congress holds deliberations on ‘Budget Session’

Monday, February 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - Congress top brass including the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and party chief Sonia Gandhi held deliberations here on Monday to chalk out a strategy for the ‘Budget Session’ of Parliament, which will begin on February 21.

Earlier on February 8, the all-party meet called by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to resolve the deadlock in the Parliament ahead of the “Budget Session” ended inconclusively on with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Opposition sticking to their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G scam.

In an endeavor to ensure that the “Budget Session” of Parliament functions smoothly, Mukherjee had called for a meeting of leaders of all political parties, but they put forth the view that the government should agree to the allegations of corruption in allocation of 2G spectrum and that this should be probed by a JPC.

Mukherjee had earlier on January 23 expressing confidence that the “Budget Session” of Parliament will function smoothly, said that he would soon hold parleys with the opposition parties over the issue.

“I will have discussions with the opposition party. Earlier Speaker called two meetings. In those two meetings, it was decided that I should also have discussions with the various opposition parties,” said Mukherjee.

“I do hope it would be possible for us to find out a solution. So that the budget session can be, business can be transacted in the budget session, smoothly,” he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created a logjam during the Winter Session of Parliament over the demand for setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into 2G-spectrum scam.

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja was forced to resign last year after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.

The Budget Session of Parliament will begin on February 21.

The General Budget is to be presented in the Lok Sabha on February 28. (ANI)

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