Govt offers special Parliament session for JPC

With the Opposition remaining adamant on JPC probe, govt offered to convene a special session of Parliament on the same.

New Delhi: With the Opposition remaining adamant on JPC probe into 2G scam, Government today offered to convene a special session of Parliament to discuss whether to set up such a committee.

"If they (the opposition) assure that there will be a debate, I am ready to call a special session of Parliament before the Budget session so that this issue (setting up of a JPC) is debated," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at an award function.

He said the Opposition should discuss the issue on the floor of Parliament and "not destroy the institution itself".

Mukherjee was responding when asked to comment on a remark by BJP president Nitin Gadkari that his party is ready to cooperate with the government in the Budget session but only on the condition that the ruling alliance appoint a JPC.

But Gadkari was not impressed. "I am ready to co-operate with him (Mukherjee). The only
contention is that he should appoint a JPC," BJP President
Nitin Gadkari said when asked about Mukherjee`s offer.

"I feel that when there is an issue of national
importance... When Pranabda was in opposition party they also
did the same thing. The track record is that the duty of the
opposition party is to take up the issue which is of national
interest," Gadkari said.

"It is one issue in which CAG has said the scam is worth
Rs 1.76 Lakh crore. Is it not important that we have a JPC on
it?" Gadkari asked.

The Left parties spoke on similar lines.

"We will not accept the offer. We can`t support. Let the
JPC be constituted first. Afterwards we can have a special
session before commencing the budget session," said Basudeb
Acharia, leader of the CPI(M) in Lok Sabha.

The government`s offer is believed to be aimed at ending the stand-off with the Opposition over the JPC issue so that the Budget session does not go same way as the Winter session of Parliament which was completely washed out.

The government has maintained that it JPC was not necessary to look into the 2G spectrum allocation and the task could be performed by the Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has even offered to appear before the PAC.

However, the opposition has been adamant on JPC probe, arguing that PAC had a limited mandate and could not probe aspects beyond auditing.