Opposition presses for JPC probe into scams

Houses in turmoil as government says no

Opposition presses for JPC probe into scams

However, the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rejected the demand for a JPC probe, with Finance Minister and Leader of the House in Lok Sabha, Pranab Mukherjee, stating that the Union Government had nothing to do with the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

He said the UPA government had already ordered an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the preparations for the CWG-2010. On the leaked draft of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the 2G spectrum allocation by the Ministry of Telecommunications, he said the government will follow the provisions clearly laid out in the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Congress slammed the BJP and other Opposition parties for stalling the proceedings of Parliament. The party said the government was ready for discussions with the BJP and other parties on all issues on the floor of both Houses of Parliament.

The party cited removal of Ashok Chavan and Suresh Kalmadi from the posts of Maharashtra CM and Congress Parliamentary Party secretary as instances of its commitment to maintaining high standards of probity in public life.

As soon as the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha met for the day, Opposition MPs led by BJP members did not allow the proceedings of the Question Hour. They raised slogans slamming the UPA government for the alleged scams and even trooped into the well of the Houses raising slogans, demanding removal of Telecom Minister A Raja and a JPC probe.

Subsequently, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the Houses till noon.  In the Upper House, Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition, criticised the government for the “unprecedented rise in cases of corruption in high places.”

“The government, instead of dealing with these, has belittled them as inner party issues,” he alleged. Questioning the role of Raja in the 2-G scam, AIADMK leader V Maitreyan said he had a copy of the CAG report on the irregularities in allocation and displayed it. When the two Houses reassembled at 12 pm, the Opposition MPs again created ruckus leading to their adjournment for the day.

Senior BJP leader M M Joshi and S S Ahluwalia later said the party has come to a conclusion that the JPC alone could get to the bottom of the three scams. They said  the BJP would not settle for anything less than a JPC probe.

The party also questioned the credibility of the main anti-corruption institutions like the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and accused the UPA-II of misusing those agencies uninterruptedly. The CBI probe would not serve any purpose, it added.

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