Sonia rejects JPC demand, impasse to worsen
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Last Updated: Monday, December 13, 2010, 21:42
  
New Delhi: The government-opposition standoff in Parliament is expected to worsen in coming days with Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday rejecting the JPC demand on the 2G spectrum issue and the NDA threatening to take to streets.

An indication to this effect was available with the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj declaring that the NDA will be taking this fight against corruption to the people. "We will be hitting the roads soon," Swaraj told reporters after a dharna of NDA in Parliament on the issue.

Swaraj's statement came close on the heels of the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting in which Gandhi launched a blistering attack against BJP and asked partymen to expose its "double standards and doublespeak" on the issue of corruption.

Gandhi did not refer directly to the opposition demand for a JPC but made it abundantly clear that the party thinks that the steps taken by the government in 2G issue were sufficient and that PAC was a competent body to examine the issue.

The NDA is also holding a rally against corruption in the national capital on July 22, which will be followed by countrywide agitations. Top NDA leaders will be holding deliberations tomorrow to finalize their strategy.

However, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda attacked the BJP and favoured mid-term Lok Sabha polls if the government was not able to ensure smoothly functioning of Parliament.

Slamming the BJP, he said that the Karnataka land scam was "bigger than 2G" and accused the main opposition of scuttling any discussion on the land scam by stalling the entire winter session of Parliament.

A section of NDA also felt that BJP's failure to take action against Yeddyurppa as well as recent comments by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on the Ayodhya issue have put off some other non-NDA parties, who had earlier decided to join the rally against corruption, which was named Opposition Rally so that it is not treated as "only BJP affair".

The Left parties are also expected to hold consultations with like-minded non-Congress, non-BJP parties like TDP, BJD, AIADMK and RLD over the next course of action.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said the National Council of his party would be meeting in Hyderabad from December 14 to 16 and consultations were possible then or soon after the meeting.

The Congress plenary is also scheduled here from December 18 which is likely to chalk out the future course of action to meet the Opposition challenge. This is the first plenary after the Congress-led UPA came to power for the second time in 2009. Gandhi also made a veiled attack on the opposition's plan to summon the Prime Minister in case the government had yielded to the demand for a JPC saying nothing should be done that will "denigrate" the institution of the Prime Minister.

As the month-long session was adjourned sine die, a bitter Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal at a press conference took on the opposition squarely, saying BJP's "unholy alliance" with the Left was to destabilise the government.

"My charge against BJP is that they could not have got courage to move a no confidence motion. They had the ulterior motive of paralysing the government," he shot back when asked to react to BJP veteran L K Advani's charge that government was threatening opposition with a mid-term poll.

The Winter Session of Parliament today ended without transacting any substantial business, going down in Parliamentary history as the only session virtually washed out due to standoff between the government and Opposition over the 2G issue.

Parliament could function barely for a few hours during the 23 sittings which began on November 9, as the united Opposition daily forced adjournments within minutes of the House assembling.

Meanwhile,Bansal said the CCPA has recommended to the President proroguing of both the Houses.

PTI


First Published: Monday, December 13, 2010, 21:42


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