Ready to discuss 2G on priority, govt tells Oppn

Government on Sunday appealed to the opposition to ensure a smooth Budget session.

New Delhi/Chennai: With the washout of winter session of Parliament weighing heavily on its mind, Government on Sunday appealed to the opposition to ensure a smooth Budget session beginning next month expressing readiness to discuss all issues, including 2G spectrum, "on priority".

"We are prepared to discuss all issues in the House. If they (the opposition) have the priority to discuss the 2G matter, it can be discussed on priority," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said.

He said that government planned to have discussions with all political parties ahead of the session but no date has been fixed so far.

Bansal`s statement came close on the heels of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s remarks in Chennai hoping that a solution would be found in the Budget session to break the impasse over the opposition demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam to ensure smooth proceedings in the House.
Against the backdrop of the washout of the entire winter session over the JPC issue, Bansal said he looked forward with hope to the three-month long budget session. "If there is any stalemate, then we will have to resolve it. I only hope that the main opposition party will see reason and discuss the matter in the House. It is the responsibility of each one of us that Parliament functions".

In Chennai, Mukherjee said he would have discussions with various political parties and recalled that Lok Sabha Speaker Miera Kumar had already held discussions with the Opposition in this regard.
BJP had yesterday said there would be no let up in its demand for JPC probe during the Budget session.

The month-long winter session was a complete washout as NDA and other Opposition parties said nothing less than a JPC probe into the scam would do but the government stood firmly against it.

Bansal`s appeal came against the backdrop of reports that government might finally blink in the battle over a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the 2G issue by possibly agreeing to the opposition demand to "save" Budget session.

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 few days ago Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also 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 when asked about the standoff with the opposition.

PTI

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