M A I N   N E W S

Govt rules out JPC probe into 2G issue
Parliament stalled again as Opposition cries foul
Faraz Ahmad & Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

n Comptroller and Auditor General report on 2G allocation today

n Din allows govt to introduce Enemy Property Bill without much difficulty

New Delhi, November 15
Not satisfied with the resignation of Union Telecom Minister A Raja, the Opposition stalled Parliament proceedings again today, demanding a JPC probe into the 2G Spectrum scam.

With the agitation entering the second week, it was evident that there might be no end to the impasse at least till November 18, though Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has invited leaders of all political parties to a lunch meeting tomorrow to resolve the problem.

Sibal gets additional telecom charge

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday gave additional charge of the Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry to Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

A notification to this effect was issued by the Rashtrapati Bhawan as Sibal assumed charge at the Sanchar Bhawan.

Sibal was only recently given additional charge of the Science and Technology Ministry after Prithviraj Chavan was sent to Mumbai to take over as the Maharashtra Chief Minister.

Simultaneously, to take the wind out of the Opposition campaign, the government has notified to the Speaker’s office seeking to table the C&AG report tomorrow itself.

The Opposition, however, remained adamant notwithstanding the fact that the government seemed to have conceded to almost all its demands, starting with removing Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in connection with the Adarsh housing scam, sacking Suresh Kalmadi from the Parliamentary party secretaryship for his alleged complicity in the Commonwealth Games scam even before Winter Session commenced and eventually removing Telecommunications Minister A Raja last night for allegations of corruption against him in the 2G scam. Moreover, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal was given the additional charge of telecom portfolio within no time, thus ending all speculations about Raja’s successor.

Sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally called up Sibal asking him to take charge.

Meanwhile, today’s proceedings also remained mired in din all day. There was chaos in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha soon as Question Hour commenced. It was adjourned when BJP, Left, SP, RJD and AIADMK members trooped into the Well of the Lok Sabha shouting “we want JPC” slogans. Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha as well.

The Houses reassembled at 12 noon only to be adjourned for the day. But before that, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee introduced the Supplementary Demands for Grants for which he had already held a meeting with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

Home Minister Chidambaram also introduced the amended Enemy Property Bill. The din ensured that the Bill was introduced without any problem, unlike the last time when the Left parties led the opposition in forcing withdrawal of the Bill.

The BJP remained stuck to its demand for a JPC probe as a precondition for letting Parliament run. However, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram dismissed the demand as “meaningless” saying the CAG report on 2G issue would be submitted to Parliament and referred to the PAC.





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