Fresh move afoot to break impasse over 2G scam

The deadlock isn’t easy to solve as it seems, though the main Opposition BJP has consented to attend the meeting. There is a clear divide within the saffron fold itself, made more evident by Monday night’s tweets by party leader Sushma Swaraj. In her post on Twitter, she talked about the limited scope of the current probe into 2G scam by the Public Action
Committee (PAC) of Parliament, headed by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi.

Swaraj further tweeted to say that the party supported only a probe by the Joint Parliamentary Committee and not by the Public Accounts Committee, though “We will attend the meeting called by the Honourable Speaker”.

The entire Opposition is strong on its demand for the JPC, despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offering to appear before the PAC. The UPA government, on the other hand, feels the PAC is empowered for a probe and constitution of a new committee will only delay the investigation. The whole of winter session of Parliament was lost, with the Opposition stalling the House almost everyday.

The Speaker had earlier held a meeting with the parties over the issue, saying “Dialogue is the only way to get to a solution. This has commenced and I hope a positive result will come out soon”. And with the Budget session fast approaching in mid-February, she seems to be hurrying up for a solution.

But given the hard stand by the two sides, any solution to the issue is unlikely even in the Thursday meeting. The BJP was adamant in its demand for a JPC probe, Swaraj’s tweets said.

“The scope of the PAC is totally different from that of the JPC. While the PAC deals with accounts, the JPC deals with accountability and governance,” she posted. In another tweet, she said, “Under the Lok Sabha rules, PAC cannot call a minister, much less the prime minister. Prime Minister’s offer therefore, has no meaning.” The divide in the BJP over the JPC, however, was bait enough for the Congress to mock at the saffron party.

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