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No Rethink On JPC, Says Govt

PTI 07 Dec 2010, 17:06:21 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Dec 7: Notwithstanding some of its allies putting pressure, government today ruled out a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam even as the issue paralysed Parliament for the 18th working day.

"There is no rethinking on the JPC. JPC is uncalled for. It is only a political handle being used by the opposition. The allies are very much part of the government and we stand united," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters here.

Bansal said that the allies sentiments have been "quite eloquently" expressed by NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

His comments came close on the heels of allies emitting different signals on the issue of JPC with Trinamool Congress saying it supported a JPC probe into the matter but would go along with any Giovernment decision on it.

"If the government agrees for a JPC, it is good .... but we will support the government in whatever stand it and the Prime Minister take. We believe the Prime Minister is honest," the party's Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay told reporters here.

"We want the deadlock in Parliament to end. If JPC is formed, it is good. But we are with the government," he said.

DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu, whose party is another key ally, left it to the Government to decide whether or not to constitute a JPC. "We will sail along with the Government," he said.

DMK MP A Raja had resigned as Telecom Minister on November 14 after the CAG said in its report that there has been a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer as a result of 2G spectrum being allotted at cheap rates.

Scotching speculation about any division in the ruling coalition, Bansal said "they are very much part of the government. They said we will stand united with the government. This was eloquently said by Pawar yesterday - no JPC and no rethinking."

A senior minister who declined to be identified said that the diverse statements of the allies like the Trinamool Congress on the issue were "mere posturing" given the fact that they have a domestic constituency to handle ahead of the assembly polls due next year.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had earlier parried questions on whether UPA allies were pressurising the Congress to yield to the Opposition demand for a JPC probe.

With the winter session scheduled to end on December 13 being virtually washed out on the JPC imbroglio, BJP-led NDA today said a five-day Special Session could be held to compensate for the loss provided the government concedes to the Oppostion demand for JPC.

"Let the government hold a special session of Parliament for five days after constituting the JPC. We are ready to sit till midnight to complete the Parliament work," JD-U chief Sharad Yadav told reporters here.

The NDA meeting also discussed the issue of JPC-versus Murli Manohar Joshi-headed PAC in the light of the latter becoming "highly active" in pursuing the 2G scam issue after the CAG report was tabled in Parliament.

The meeting also chalked out plans for an all out rally against corruption once the Parliament session is over.

The prospective date for the rally was also discussed keeping in mind the forthcoming Plenary session of Congress and Muharram.

Sources said that the strategy of the NDA would be make this agitation a rallying point for all opposition parties on the lines of July 5 Bharat Bandh against price hike.

JD-U chief Sharad Yadav is said to be in touch with parties like AGP, TDP, AIADMK and INLD on the issue.

Significantly, the NDA meeting took place a day after the non-NDA opposition parties held a separate meeting on the JPC issue.

"I donot know why the government is hesitant to accept JPC even when the government's allies NCP, Trinamool Congress and DMK have said they have no problem with it," Yadav said.

Meanwhile, Parliament remained paralysed for the 18th working day today with no solution in sight to the impasse on the Opposition demand for JPC, raising the spectre of the entire winter session going waste. PTI