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No more Parliament adjournments over JPC demand

Source: PTI
November 25, 2010 21:52 IST
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As the standoff in Parliament on the 2G Spectrum issue showed no signs of resolution, the government today appears to have decided to wear out the Oppostion by not adjourning the House before its scheduled close.

Firmly ruling out constitution of a joint parliamentary committee to avoid the possibility of Dr Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being summoned by uch a committee, the government also dared the Oppostion to bring a no-confidence motion.

After complete washout of proceedings in both the Houses for the tenth consecutive day, Finacne Minister and Leader of Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee was at his wits' end saying the government did not know how to resolve the impasse thought it has not given up its efforts. "The government will make efforts till December 13 to ensure that the House runs," said Parliament Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Echoing a similar line Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said, "We will try to run the House till the last day of the winter session on December 13."

A senior Congress leader also said on the condition of anonymity that the party's stand is "no JPC and no sine die." The leader said that conceding to the opposition's demand for a JPC probe in the case could lead to a situation where they start seeking a JPC in every matter. "We have to fight it and face it" was the leader's response when asked how will the government function in such an eventuality of Parliament not running with both the opposition and the government sticking to their guns.

The Opposition would have to settle for examination of Comptroller and Auditor General report on 2G spectrum allocation by the public accounts committee of Parliament, sources said.

Bansal said the government had firmly rejected the demand for JPC and told the Opposition that if their only objective was to summon the Prime Minister and some ministers, that was not acceptable. Asked what the government would do if Opposition moves a no-confidence motion, Bansal said "if such a thing happens, we cannot stop it. But the Opposition will get a beating. The government is in power till it has majority. People will also understand that it is the Opposition that is not allowing the House to function."

Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, after a meeting with Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury on the deadlock, told reporters that efforts are being made to end the impasse.

"We have not yet been able to find a solution. I do not know how to resolve this impasse. We are trying. Let us see," Mukherjee, who is also Leader of the Lok Sabha, said.

During the meeting, Yechury asked Mukherjee why the government was refusing to set up JPC and pointed out that the Congress too had forced repeated adjournments of Parliament in the wake of the Tehelka expose during the National Democratic Alliance rule.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar spoke to Mukherjee and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj. She later appealed to all parties to end the stalemate. "It is my earnest appeal to end the impasse and allow the Houses to function and discuss the issues in Parliament," Kumar said.

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