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Feb 8 meeting may see signals from Govt on JPC

The possibility of the government may agree to the Opposition demand is being talked about in the UPA as also among Opposition parties.

New Delhi: A meeting of political parties convened by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on February 8 could see some signals about the government not being averse to form a JPC to probe the 2G spectrum issue to `save` the Budget session of Parliament.

The meeting by Mukherjee, also the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha, has been convened for "mutual consultations" over the Budget session beginning February 21 amid reports
that the government may finally blink in the battle over a JPC.

The possibility of the government may agree to the Opposition demand is being talked about in the UPA as also among Opposition parties.
The entire winter session of Parliament was washed out over the stalemate on the JPC issue with a united Opposition saying nothing short of such a probe would do. They even threatened to stall the Budget session.

"If there is again going to be uproar in the Budget session, beginning on February 21, the thinking in the government is possibly accept the demand for a JPC," a senior UPA leader, who declined to be identified, said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already expressed his readiness to explore "all possible approaches" to end the deadlock in Parliament.

"As far as JPC is concerned, our government is ready for all possible approaches," he had told reporters sometime back.

The refrain of government managers is that Parliament should function. "We want Parliament should function and all problems can be debated in Parliament. We are not afraid of any subject being brought up for discussion. Parliament is the forum for discussion."

The government wanted a discussion on the 2G Spectrum issue to be taken up first in the House in which the entire gamut of the issue including the need of JPC could be debated.

It is also open to accepting a JPC probe if it was the sense of Parliament, UPA leaders say.

President Pratibha Patil had in her Republic Day address made it clear that it was a joint responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

The three-month long Budget session is likely to conclude by April end with a nearly three week long recess in between.


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