Feb 8 meeting may see signals from Govt on JPC

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) A meeting of political partiesconvened by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on February 8could see some signals about the government not being averseto form a JPC to probe the 2G spectrum issue to ''save'' theBudget session of Parliament.

The meeting by Mukherjee, also the Leader of the Housein Lok Sabha, has been convened for "mutual consultations"over the budget session beginning February 21 amid reportsthat the government may finally blink in the battle over aJPC.

The possibility of the government may agree to theopposition demand is being talked about in the UPA as alsoamong opposition parties.

The entire winter session of Parliament was washed outover the stalemate on the JPC issue with a united oppositionsaying nothing short of such a probe would do. They eventhreatened to stall the budget session.

"If there is again going to be uproar in the budgetsession, beginning on February 21, the thinking in thegovernment is possibly accept the demand for a JPC," a seniorUPA leader, who declined to be identified, said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already expressedhis readiness to explore "all possible approaches" to end thedeadlock in Parliament.

"As far as JPC is concerned, our government is readyfor all possible approaches," he had told reporters sometimeback.

The refrain of government managers is that Parliamentshould function. "We want Parliament should function and allproblems can be debated in Parliament. We are not afraid ofany subject being brought up for discussion. Parliament is theforum for discussion."

The government wanted a discussion on the 2G Spectrumissue to be taken up first in the House in which the entiregamut of the issue including the need of JPC could be debated.

It is also open to accepting a JPC probe if it was thesense of Parliament, UPA leaders say.

President Pratibha Patil had in her Republic Dayaddress made it clear that it was a joint responsibility ofall stakeholders to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

The three-month long Budget session is likely toconclude by April end with a nearly three week long recess inbetween.

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