Congress core group meets as allies give conflicting signals
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 22:59
New Delhi: Top Congress leaders including Prime Minister Manomohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi held deliberations this evening in the backdrop of some UPA allies sending divergent signals on the issue of JPC probe into 2G Spectrum scam.

The Congress Core Group meeting that lasted for 90 minutes strategised on the way ahead in the wake of the continuing logjam in Parliament that has washed out almost the entire Winter Session.

The Congress refused to budge from its stand opposing JPC even as the NDA today said it was open to the idea of a special session of five days to complete the pending government business if the government concedes to the Opposition's demand for JPC.

"Our stand remains unchanged regardless of their (Opposition's) offer. The stand of Congress remains same. PAC is fully empowered and should go into it (2G issue). JPC is not required," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters at the AICC briefing.

To a question on why the government is not agreeing to JPC even when some of UPA allies say they have no objection to it, Natarajan said, "Allies have also said that they would go along with the government's decision on the issue."

Ally Trinamool Congress today said it supported a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam but would leave a decision on the matter to the government.

"If the government agrees for a JPC, it is good .... but we will support the government in whatever stand it and the Prime Minister take. We believe the Prime Minister is honest," the party's Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told reporters

Natarajan replied in negative when asked whether the government's insistence could weaken UPA's poll prospects in CPI-M ruled West Bengal and Kerala where the party is raising corruption as key issue.

"Not at all. We had a major victory in Kerala civic bodies polls a few days back. That run of victory will continue in both the states. This issue will have no bearing on our prospects. Rather the Opposition will be exposed," she claimed.

She said the Congress strongly condemns the obstruction of Parliament and consequent obfuscation of important issues that needed to be discussed in the winter session.

She said it would be "an unprecedented occasion when the Opposition did not allow the functioning of Parliament for a single day.

"Those who prevented Parliament from functioning will have to certianly answer the people why they abdicated their responsibility to discuss this matter and other important issues on the floor of the House," Natarajan said and appealed to the Opposition to allow Parliament to function.


First Published: Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 22:59

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