Pranab to meet Opposition to end House logjam

Last Updated: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 00:50

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Pranab
Mukherjee will hold another round of discussions with the
opposition on Monday in yet another bid to break the logjam in
Parliament over the Telecom scam.

This was decided at a meeting of Congress core group
attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party President
Sonia Gandhi as Parliament meets tomorrow after a virtual
washout for the last two weeks.

BJP, Left and other opposition parties have been
demanding setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)
probe on the basis of the CAG report which spoke of a loss of
Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer in the 2G spectrum
allocation.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P
Chidambaram and Defence Minister A K Antony were among those
who attended the meeting at Prime Minister`s Race Course Road
residence.

Sources said the party is keeping a close watch on the
developments in BJP-ruled Karnataka, where Chief Minister BS
Yeddyurappa is under pressure to to step down following the
controversy over allotment of prime land to his sons.

Congress has so far been daring the BJP to take action
against Yeddyurappa to puncture the Opposition`s attack on
the government over the spectrum scam.

But there is a view in the party that this space for
Congress will shrink if Yeddyurappa goes.

A section of Congress is of the view that the demand
for JPC into the 2G issue should be accepted but its mandate
should not be confined to only UPA`s period and the decisions
on telecom licensing during NDA`s period should also be
inquired into.

The meeting takes place on a day opposition BJP, which
has launched an offensive against Congress on the issue of
corruption, is likely to take a call on Yeddyurappa,

The Congress is also flustered over the developments
in Andhra Pradesh where a TV channel owned by party MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched an attack on Sonia and the
Prime Minister yesterday.

The central leadership today sought a report from the
state unit on the issue.

"The party has sought a report from the state unit on
the issue (telecast of a programme on Sakshi television
channel)," AICC Media Department Chairman Janardhan Dwivedi
said.

Party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said a view on the
issue would be taken once the report is received from the
state unit.

Sakshi, the 24-hour Telugu news channel owned by the
Kadapa MP, had launched a frontal attack on Gandhi as well as
the organisation in a one-hour programme yesterday.

Congress leaders from the state have reacted sharply
to the issue. A senior party leader from the state K Keshava
Rao said that there was a "design" behind the telecast and
Jaganmohan has "gone too far" and "something needs to be
done".

Rao said that Jaganmohan wants the party to take
action against him so that he becomes a hero and then form a
regional party of his own "but a party like Congress will not
act in haste".

PTI



First Published: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 00:50

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