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All-party meet fails to break Parliament deadlock
New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI/Agencies):
Published on 30 Nov. 2010 11:58 PM IST
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After the wastage of 13 consecutive working days, the Winter session of Parliament appears set to be lost as efforts to break the government-Opposition standoff over the JPC issue failed on Tuesday with both sides sticking their positions.
At an all-party meeting called by the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, the Opposition made it clear that it will not allow Parliament to function till a JPC on 2G spectrum allocation is set up but the government said the demand was “unacceptable”.
The Opposition parties also emphasised that it will not be satisfied by anything less than a JPC, rejecting the government’s proposal for Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into the 2G issue.
The government also ruled out sine die adjournment of the session which is slated to conclude on December 13.
“All the Opposition parties demanded a JPC and if the government can’t give a JPC, the Parliament would not be able to function. We have told this thing to the Speaker also,” Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters after the two-and-a-half hour meeting.
During the meeting, the Speaker suggested that the Question Hour should be allowed and other issues could be debated later but it was turned down by the Opposition.
“We asked how will that help if Question Hour goes on,” Ms. Swaraj said, adding her party wanted Parliament to function not only one hour but the whole day.
“Why the government is refusing to accept a JPC is bewildering. Government feels many skeletons will come out of its cupboard,” CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said.
Insisting that the demands for JPC do not fit in the rules of Parliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, “This meeting could not bring about the results we expected.”
Contending that her effort was to end the impasse in Parliament, Ms. Kumar said, “Till a solution is found, both sides (the government and the Opposition) should continue efforts.”
Non-NDA parties
meet President
To build pressure on the government, about 80 MPs belonging to the non-NDA opposition parties marched to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to urge President Pratibha Patil to “advise” the government to set up a JPC.
Parliament standoff continues
Parliament continued to remain a mute victim of the standoff between the government and the opposition over the 2G Spectrum scam, with both Houses being adjourned for the entire day on Tuesday.
While the logjam in Parliament continued, the opposition stepped up its attack outside Parliament.
The non-NDA opposition, including the Left parties, continued to remain adamant on their demand for a JPC probe and protested outside Parliament for the same. Leaders from 10 parties also marched to the Rashtrapati Bhavan from Parliament to meet President Pratibha Patil. They submitted a memorandum to the President demanding that a JPC be set up to probe the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters after the meeting that the President patiently heard the leaders from the 10 parties and accepted their memorandum. “We hope that she acts on the memorandum,” Yechury said.
Leaders of the opposition National Democratic Alliance also met today and decided to stay firm on their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G scam.
The NDA combine also decided to hold a rally against corruption.
Inside the Parliament, the tug-of-war continued with both Houses first adjourning till noon and then for the entire day as opposition protests continued.
Question Hour also continued to remain a victim of the protests for the 13th straight working day.
The opposition protests in the Lok Sabha, however, appeared to be losing steam with decibel levels considerably low compared to the previous week.
It was a repeat of now common scenes of opposition members rushing to the well of the House as soon as Speaker Meira Kumar took up the Question Hour.
Members of the BJP, Shiv Sena, AIADMK and SP shouted slogans ‘We want JPC’ and were countered by Congress members who waved placards and demanded resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa.

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