Allies back UPA's no to JPC probe in 2G issue

Allies back UPA's no to JPC probe in 2G issue

After the nearly two-hour meeting attended by UPA constituents NCP, DMK, TMC and NC, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee again appealed to the Opposition to give up its demand for a JPC probe.

"Yesterday I made an appeal to different political parties including L K Advani and Leader of Opposition (in Lok Sabha) .....I am renewing my appeal to the Opposition," Mukherjee told reporters.

He said in the meeting he had "shared the situation" with the UPA allies but did not elaborate.

Agriculture Minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar said the UPA constituents decided on a "collective approach" to the issue.

NC leader Farooq Abdullah said, "We will remain united in our stand against JPC." DMK leader Tiruchi Siva, whose party had earlier given indications that it was not averse to JPC, said it backed the government's position of "no JPC".

"We have decided to go ahead with the business as scheduled and run the House," Siva said, indicating that the UPA was in no mood to adjourn Parliament sine die despite the government-opposition stand-off which is making it clear that the whole Winter session may be washed out.

Pawar added that the UPA would wait for the Opposition's response. TMC, which had earlier said that it was not opposed to a JPC probe if it was needed to run the House, also backed the government's firm stand on the issue.

Maintaining that BJP and CPI(M) were "in an unholy nexus out to destabilise" the UPA government, TMC chief whip in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay said enough scope was given to the Opposition to cooperate and resolve the issue but "they remained adamant".

He said party chief Banerjee wanted a debate in the House on whether or not to have a JPC.

"The House could have decided on the issue. The opposition could have spoken in a united voice. They could have also brought a non-confidence motion against the government. But this (insisting on JPC) is a step by the opposition to destabilise the government and we will not support this," he told PTI.

Along with NCP, the TMC has also indicated support for a JPC probe but said the Mamata Banerjee-led party would stand by the government if it did not set up a parliamentary panel.

"We said we are not averse to a JPC probe but if the Government decides against it, we are not going to protest the decision. We will be with the Government in whatever way it wants to resolve the issue," Bandopadhyay, who along with Minister of State Mukul Roy represented TMC at the UPA meet, said.

He said Mukherjee was "ready to give a lot of power to the PAC but is not ready for a JPC."

To questions on the tapes of conversation between an industry lobbyist and industrialist Ratan Tata, Bandopadhyay said, "Tata has become a total political person. We don't accept him as the champion of the industry any more after his statements on the Nano issue where he appealed to the people of West Bengal not to vote for Trinamool".

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