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Parliament impasse continues for eight day, govt sticks to JPC stand

Source: PTI
Last updated on: November 23, 2010 15:11 IST
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The deadlock in Parliament over the issue of a joint parliamentary committee probe into the 2G Spectrum scam showed no signs of ending with the government on Tuesday again refusing to yield to demands of the Opposition.

The government's intention was made clear by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee when Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury met him on Tuesday morning to know his response to the Opposition demand.

The government stuck to its position even as Parliament failed to function on the eighth consecutive day because of the standoff. The Opposition members created pandemonium in both houses of Parliament. The Congress sought to take the sting out of the Opposition attack by raising the corruption charges against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

"All I can say is that the deadlock continues," Yechury told mediapersons after meeting Mukherjee to know the government stand as the finance minister had promised on Monday to get back to the Opposition on its JPC demand after consulting Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Yechury said Mukherjee told him that the government was firm on its stand of 'no JPC'. He said the Opposition has also stuck to its demand for a JPC probe.

Noting that the "stalemate is continuing", Mukherjee termed it as an "unfortunate" situation and said, "Let us see how we can break the stalemate." Referring to his meeting with leaders of opposition parties on Monday, the FM said, "We could not arrive at a solution."

He pointed out that the government had suggested that a multi-disciplinary team would be attached with the public accounts committee to investigate the matter but it was rejected.

Asked when the deadlock could end, Leader of the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "You will come to know as soon as it is broken."

A senior minister, meanwhile, said efforts were on to end the impasse in Parliament. Amidst the standoff, a section of Congressmen was also in favour of a JPC probe so that the House could resume its normal functioning. "We will have to agree to a JPC either now or later. A number of party MPs also feel that there is no harm in accepting the Opposition demand," a minister belonging to the Congress said.

Another young Congress MP also said there was a view in a section of the party that there was no harm in ordering a JPC probe. Meanwhile, a senior minister scotched speculation that the winter session could be truncated.

As both the government and Opposition stuck to their positions, both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day without transacting any substantive business in the wake of unruly scenes created by the Opposition parties while the Congress was seeking dismissal of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa over corruption charges.

It was trouble from the word go in both the Houses, forcing adjournment initially till noon and then for the day. In the Lok Sabha, Opposition members including those from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United and Samajwadi Party trooped into the well demanding the setting up of a JPC to probe reports of irregularities in allocation of 2G Spectrum.

The treasury benches, in turn, demanded Yeddyurappa's resignation over corruption charges. Some Congress members almost rushed to the well, chanting slogans against Yeddyurappa and carrying placards that read 'Book Bellary Brothers' and 'Punish Yeddyurappa to protect Karnataka from mining mafia and land grabbers'.

They were asked to retreat to the aisles by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Trinamool Congress members were seen waving the list of questions indicating their willingness for normal business. Slogans and counter-slogans went on for a while before Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House till noon.

When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed. Amid the din, papers and reports were laid on the table after which the House was adjourned for the day. The standoff was also witnessed in the Rajya Sabha soon after chairman Hamid Ansari completed the obituary references.

Congress members too moved into the aisles carrying posters demanding the sacking of Yeddyurappa over alleged land scam in the state.

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members held copies of a magazine carrying a cover story on former telecom minister A Raja's alleged role in the irregularities in allocation of 2G spectrum. Ansari took up the listed question of the day and asked members not to display placards. "No raising of posters," he said, but the protesting members refused to relent, forcing him to adjourn the House till 1200 hours.

Similar scenes were repeated when the House met again. Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, who was in the chair, kept pleading that the members should not show placards but they did not oblige.

Due to the impasse over 2G spectrum issue, Parliament has failed to function since November 10, a day after the winter session commenced.

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