Ahead of the budget session beginning Monday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said Friday that a decision on forming a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the irregularities in 2G spectrum allocation will be taken in a few days. “A decision on a JPC will be taken in the next three or four days. Government is consulting opposition parties on the issue,” Bansal told reporters at the pre-session press conference.
The Nov 9-Dec 13 winter session of parliament was crippled by opposition demands for a JPC to probe into the 2G spectrum scam and the government refusing to relent. No business could be transacted during the session.
The budget session starts Monday with President Pratibha Patil’s address to a joint session of parliament. The pre-budget Economic Survey and the railway budget will be presented on Feb 25 and the general budget on Feb 28. The session will be conducted in two phases with a recess from March 16 to April 4 and will conclude April 21. “The session will have 29 sittings, 17 in first half and 12 in the second half. A total of 75 items, including 66 bills, have been identified for being presented during the session,” Bansal said.
‘Fight against corruption won’t end with formation of JPC’
Though the Centre has indicated that it is ready to appoint a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to go into the 2G Spectrum issue, NDA on Thursday announced that its fight against corruption would not end with the constitution of the JPC.
“We are given to understand that the government would appoint a JPC when the Budget session of Parliament starts. However, our goal would not be achieved with the appointment of JPC. We will continue to fight for complete eradication of corruption,” senior BJP leader L K Advani said here tonight, addressing a massive rally organised by NDA-BJP against corruption.
Asserting that there will be no compromise on corruption, he said NDA’s campaign would continue to get back the black money stashed away in foreign tax havens. Recalling that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reveal the names of those who have stashed away their ill-gotten wealth in foreign banks, Advani said the Prime Minister, however, expressed inability to reveal the names.
The BJP veteran said he was happy that the Supreme Court asked the government to disclose the names of those Indians who have deposited their money in foreign banks.
Attacking the Prime Minister for expressing helplessness in checking corruption in the name of ‘coalition dharma’, he charged that Manmohan Singh was seeking excuses.
“I feel sorry for Manmohan Singh’s helplessness. Morarji Desai and Atal Bihari Vajpayee too ran coalition governments. They followed coalition dharma but never indulged in ‘bahaanebaji’ (seeking excuses),” he said.
Referring to the comments made by the Supreme Court on issues of corruption in various cases, Advani said it is for the first time in the history of the country that the apex court has made remarks against the government.
Speaking on the Telangana issue, he said the party is committed to give separate statehood to the region in the event of NDA coming to power in the 2014 general elections.
The previous NDA government could not give statehood to Telangana as its alliance partner Telugu Desam was not in favour of the demand, he said.
Criticising the Prime Minister for saying that “he did know that corruption was taking place”, NDA Convener Sharad Yadav cited Chanakya as saying that the ruler who expresses ignorance should be thrown out.
“Manmohan Singhji, NDA has no enmity with you. But it is true that corruption is taking place from Delhi to the village level,” he said.
He took exception to the Prime Minister allegedly saying that “only little loot has taken place and a mountain is made out of a mole hill by the opposition and media.”
Promising that the NDA would root out corruption and give a clean administration to the people, he appealed to the people to strengthen NDA and elect the coalition to power in the next general elections.
Training his guns on the Prime Minister, BJP president Nitin Gadkari asked how come Manmohan Singh could not stop the 2G spectrum scam though he was aware of it and had written a letter to then Telecom Minister A Raja.