2G scam: Government may finally agree to JPC?

The government may finally agree to a JPC probe into 2G scam ahead of the Budget Session.

Last Updated: Feb 09, 2011, 00:39 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The ice between the UPA and the opposition seems to be melting as there are indications that the government may finally agree to opposition`s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam to break the Parliament impasse ahead of the Budget Session.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday renewed efforts to end the stalemate as he met Opposition leaders and is reported to have conveyed the message that the Centre is softening its stand on the issue.
During the meeting, the leaders of the Opposition parties stuck to their demand for a JPC probe into the 2G scam, downplaying the fact that tainted former telecom minister A Raja is now in the CBI custody.

Reports said Mukherjee has conveyed to the opposition that the government wanted the Parliament to run at any cost, with indications that an announcement on setting up the JPC could be made at the start of the upcoming Budget Session. Mukherjee also assured the leaders that he would get back after consulting the Prime Minister.

“It was indeed a very good discussion”, said Mukherjee after the meeting.
Though the 90-minute-long all-party meet at the Parliament Annexe remained inconclusive, there appears to be a “consensus” among all parties that parliament should function during the crucial Budget session beginning February 21.

"We have told the government, and I think there is a hope. We hope that government will approve the formation of JPC and parliament will then function properly," Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said after the meeting. She, however, said that a formal proposal from the government is yet to come.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said that the opposition is speaking in “one voice" and there was no change in their stance over the JPC.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said that he was "very, very hopeful" about the government agreeing to the opposition`s demand for a JPC probe.

Government sources said, as of now it cannot be said that the government is open to JPC but if a resolution for its formation is moved, a discussion will suit it.
Another round of talks would be held on the eve of the Budget session.

It is to be noted that the entire Winter Session was crippled by the Opposition, led by the BJP and the Left, fuelling concerns that that the three-month Budget Session could go the same way.

The 2G scam has cost former IT and communications minister A Raja his job, months before he was arrested last week.

The Budget Session of Parliament begins on February 21. The government will present the General Budget in the Lok Sabha on February 28.