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All-party meeting fails to end parliament logjam

Tuesday November 16, 2010 08:47:37 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: An all-party meeting Tuesday failed to resolve the impasse in parliament over the opposition's demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation with both the government and the opposition sticking to their respective positions.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after the meeting that the opposition leaders had conveyed their views.

"The leaders of opposition have expressed their views. They want a JPC probe. I have expressed our difficulty and told them we shall have to discuss among ourselves and communicate," Mukherjee said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the party wanted a JPC probe but it also conveyed at the meeting that the government can suggest some other mechanism as good as JPC.

"It (the government) kept saying that the PAC (public accounts committee) will look into the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report (on spectrum allocation)," Yechury said.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel said the government conveyed that there were various ways to reach the truth including discussion in parliament.

Referring to allegations of corruption and irregularities in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) for which the opposition has demanded a JPC probe, Patel said the government told the opposition members that the V.K. Shunglu committee was already looking into it.

He said the government would again meet the opposition leaders Thursday in a bid to resolve the impasse.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that former telecom minister A. Raja, who resigned Sunday, had a role in the controversial 2G spectrum allocation and a JPC probe should be conducted.

"We told Pranab Mukherjee that Raja is a player and we need a JPC probe and those involved and accused should be held accountable and tried," he said.

Both the houses of parliament have witnessed repeated adjournments over the past week on the opposition's demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, which it claims is a Rs.1.76 trillion ($40 billion) scandal.

The two houses were again adjourned for the day Tuesday on the issue.





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