“I am very sad Parliament has not been allowed to function”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday broke his silence on the logjam in Parliament over the Opposition demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scandal.
“I am very sad that Parliament has not been allowed to function. We have, again and again, told the Opposition that existing institutional mechanisms can take care of whatever a JPC can do. I hope the Opposition will see reason,” Dr. Singh said during an informal talk with journalists on board a special flight from Brussels to Berlin on a chilly winter morning here.
Initially when asked when he would break his silence on the issue that has practically disrupted Parliament the whole of this winter session, Dr. Singh's response was that he would do so “in due course.” But immediately, he said he was sad that Parliament was not being allowed to function.
Asked what the government strategy would be if the Opposition protests spilled into the budget session in February next year, the Prime Minister expressed his apprehension: “I am worried about the future of the parliamentary system…I do hope reason will prevail [and the Opposition will not do that].”
He was also asked why he chose to make this visit — to Brussels for the India-European Union Summit on Friday, Berlin on Saturday for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel — when Parliament was in session. His response was that first, “India would not be taken seriously if we fail to keep our commitments” on dates fixed for important bilateral and multilateral meetings, and two, anyway, not much was happening. “What is happening there [in Parliament] anyway?”
Keywords: spectrum issue