Is a JPC on the anvil?

The government may finally blink in the battle over a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation issue by possibly agreeing to the opposition demand to `save` the Budget session of Parliament.

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2011, 21:06 PM IST

New Delhi: The government may finally
blink in the battle over a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)
to probe the 2G spectrum allocation issue by possibly agreeing
to the opposition demand to `save` the Budget session of
Parliament.

Signals in this regard are coming both from the UPA as
also from opposition, especially the Left parties.

"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.

A meeting of all political parties could be called to
resolve the deadlock in Parliament over the JPC issue in the
next few days, a Union Minister, who also did not not want to
be identified, told PTI.

The minister, however, remained non-committal on
whether Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar or senior Congress
leader Pranab Mukherjee would be chairing the meeting.

Sources said that the issue of JPC was also discussed
at the meeting of the Congress Core Group on Friday.

A few days ago Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also
expressed his readiness to explore "all possible approaches"
to end the deadlock in Parliament on the issue of a JPC probe
into 2G spectrum scam.

"As far as JPC is concerned, our government is ready
for all possible approaches," he had told reporters when asked
about the standoff with the opposition over the JPC issue that
had resulted in a wash out of the winter session.

Singh said the government wanted Parliament to 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 Prime Minister had said.

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, they said.

BJP and Left parties have been insistent on a JPC to
probe 2G spectrum allocation and there is intense speculation
about smooth functioning of Parliament`s Budget session if the
confrontation between the government and the opposition
persists.

"Still there was lot of time for the Budget session,
but if it became clear that it could also be washed out like
the winter session, setting up of a JPC could be agreed to," a
Congress leader said adding "after all it is we, who have to
run the government and not the opposition."

There were two views in Congress on the issue even in
the beginning when the government had categorically ruled out
the possibility of JPC. A number of MPs and ministers speaking
on the condition of anonymity had then said that the
government should have accepted JPC.

PTI