Opposition unhappy with PM’s language on JPC

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left Tuesday welcomed the announcement of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the 2G scam but were rather unhappy with the language Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to couch his statement in.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the announcement could have been made in a gracious manner rather than projecting that the opposition coerced the government into it. The CPI-M too, voicing its objection, said the government sought to make a virtue of its own inaction.

“The statement is disappointing. The issue could be resolved in a more gracious manner,” Jaitley, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said adding that the content of Manmohan Singh’s statement showed that the government had done everything and the joint parliamentary committee was formed only because parliament was paralysed.

Jaitley’s counterpart in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj thanked the prime minister for the announcement.

But Jaitley said the JPC constitution could have been announced ‘gracefully’ instead of the ‘tasteless’ manner by projecting that the opposition had forced the government to do so.

He was joined in the protest by other BJP members as also from AIADMK.

He also questioned the seriousness of the government to fight corruption in the country. “I have serious reservations about the ability, motivations and incentives in fighting corruption… I have serious doubts about the propriety and integrity of this government… this is governance at its worst leading to cynical public opinion,” said Jaitley.

After months of relentless insistence from the opposition, the government Tuesday gave in to the demand and announced in parliament the formation of a JPC.

Manmohan Singh, who made the statement in both houses of parliament, said the government believed that as all effective steps are being taken, we might have been able to persuade opposition to drop the demand for a JPC.

We could not succeed in spite of sincere efforts,” admitted Manmohan Singh, announcing the panel to investigate alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences to telecom firms by former communications minister A. Raja incurring huge financial losses on the nation.

CPI-Ms Sitaram Yechury said the government was making a virtue of its own inaction” by saying that they are being benevolent and concerned that parliament should function.

“All reasons given by government are all in the public domain, but the Left parties were seeking a JPC primarily to examine how the system was grossly manipulated,” Yechury said.

The entire winter session of parliament was lost over the opposition demand for JPC, which has the powers to summon cabinet ministers and even prime minister to depose before it. The government had not accepted the demand for JPC.

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