M A I N   N E W S

2G scam: PM announces JPC probe
Faraz Ahmad/TNS

New Delhi, February 22
Giving in to pressure from the Opposition, the UPA government today finally announced in the Lok Sabha that a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) would soon be constituted to look into the 2G Spectrum scam.

And with the announcement ended the confrontation between the UPA regime and the Opposition, a demand that had led to complete washout of the winter session of Parliament.

Soon after the House met, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requested Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to constitute a JPC. “Our government believed that as all effective steps were being taken, we might persuade the Opposition not to insist on a JPC. We could not succeed….”

Manmohan Singh said that on account of the controversy relating to the allocation of 2G Spectrum, the precious winter session was lost. “Our country can ill-afford a situation where Parliament is paralysed and important legislative business is not allowed to be considered. In paralysing Parliament, I believe, we all do disservice to those who have elected us,” he said.

A CBI investigation into the allocation of 2G Spectrum, the Prime Minister pointed out, was already underway and was being supervised by the Supreme Court. “The PAC is aware of the matter and the government is fully cooperating with it. We also have the report of the independent inquiry committee set up under the chairmanship of Justice Shivraj Patil, which is in the public domain. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has also acted with expedition.”

For their part, the Opposition hailed the announcement by the Prime Minister but said the winter session would not have been lost but for the government’s “stubbornness”.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, "We should not see this as a victory or defeat. This is victory of democracy. We should all work together putting aside any talk of victory or defeat."

But her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley described the Prime Minister’s statement as “disappointing”. “The issue could have been resolved in a more gracious manner,” he said.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury also criticised the government for “making a virtue of its own inaction”.





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