Speaker's initiative makes little headway

The Speaker termed her bringing together the government and opposition for discussions spread over two days as a “step forward” and voiced optimism as all the leaders felt that the proceedings of the Budget session should not be disrupted.

However, some opposition leaders did not appear to share the same optimism and insisted that a JPC probe was the only way out to break the logjam.

Among those who attended the meeting were Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal, Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav (JDU), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), Nama Nageshwara Rao (TDP), Ajit Singh (RLD), Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP), Basudev Acharia (CPM), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) and T K S Elangovan (DMK).

Leaders of several parties, including the Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, Samajwadi Party, RJD and the National Conference, did not attend the luncheon meeting called by the Speaker to find a solution to the deadlock.

Talking to reporters separately, leaders of the AIADMK, CPM, CPI, RLD and TDP, insisted on setting up of a JPC to probe into the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation.

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