Parliament deadlock: Govt. must announce JPC on Feb. 22, says Swaraj

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (ANI): Ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the Parliament will be allowed to function if the government announces a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the several scams on February 22.

"We said that though the Parliament session will commence from February 21, the BJP will attend the inaugural session, but the government must announce the formation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the scams on February 22. If they want the budget session to be smooth, they must announce a JPC on February 22," Swaraj told reporters after a meeting with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here.

"If this happens, we will actively participate in the session because even we want the Parliament to function. We have repeatedly stated on various platforms that we want the Parliament to function, but the government obstinacy is not allowing this. The government should not be adamant and accept our demand," she added.

Expressing confidence that the demands will be fulfilled, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran said: "Yes, the government stance has certainly softened. This is evident from the fact they invited us for the meeting. This would not have happened if they had not realized that the Parliament session would not function without a JPC. Thus, we are hopeful that our demand will be fulfilled."

With just a week left before the Parliament reconvenes for the Budget Session, Mukherjee today met senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley apparently to end the logjam over formation of JPC to probe 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Earlier on Tuesday, senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani criticizing the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, demanded that the JPC should probe all scandals like the Commonwealth Games (CWG), the Adarsh Housing scam and the 2G spectrum scam.

The all-party meet called by Mukherjee on February 8 to resolve the deadlock in the Parliament ahead of the "Budget Session" ended inconclusively with the BJP-led Opposition sticking to their demand for a JPC probe into the 2G scam.

In an endeavor to ensure that the "Budget Session" of Parliament functions smoothly, Mukherjee had called for a meeting of leaders of all political parties, but they put forth the view that the government should agree to the allegations of corruption in allocation of 2G spectrum and that this should be probed by a JPC.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created a logjam during the Winter Session of Parliament over the demand for setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into 2G-spectrum scam.

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja was forced to resign last year after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.

The Budget Session of Parliament will begin on February 21.

The General Budget is to be presented in the Lok Sabha on February 28. (ANI)

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