With both the ruling Congress and Opposition parties firm on their respective stands, there seems to be no possible solution to end the standoff
The two-week standoff in Parliament showed no signs of ending on Tuesday with the BJP and other opposition parties unrelenting on their demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum controversy and the government refusing to yield.
Blaming Congress for the deadlock in Parliament, BJP made it clear that there is “no alternative” to a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the spectrum issue and said it had no problem if it was headed by a Congress leader.
“Congress is fully responsible for the impasse in Parliament. Because it is not only the BJP which is demanding JPC on issues like 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh Society but the entire opposition including Left, Shiv Sena, TDP, AIADMK and other parties are demanding JPC,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar told reporters.
Claiming that the demand was supported by majority of MPs, he said, “Even Congress allies TMC and NCP are also in favour of JPC. Parties like RJD, SP and BSP which are supporting the government are also demanding JPC because there is no alternative to it. The demand is democratic.”
After failing to break the logjam, government toughened its stand saying the opposition does not have the mandate to force the government to do what its wants.
“Government has the mandate to rule the country. Opposition has the right to express its views. They can raise people’s issues and problems. But they do not have the mandate to force the government to do what they want. The people have not given the mandate to the opposition for it,” Congress spokesperson Shakil Ahmed told reporters.
On the deadlock in Parliament over the JPC demand, Mr. Ahmed said, “Government’s stand is the party’s stand. We have tried to take opposition into confidence but unfortunately it did not happen.”
“All I can say is that the deadlock continues,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said after meeting Pranab Mukherjee to know the government stand as the Finance Minister had promised yesterday to get back to the Opposition on JPC demand after consulting the Prime Minister.
Mr. Yechury said Mr. Mukherjee told him that government was firm on its stand of ‘no JPC.’ He said the opposition has also stuck to its demand for a JPC probe.
Noting that the “stalemate is continuing”, Mr. Mukherjee termed it as an “unfortunate” situation.
The BJP spokesperson said if the JPC chairman would be from the Congress party, “we will have no problem with that.”
Taking potshot at the Congress, he said, “It seems Congress does not have any faith in democracy. If Congress believes in democracy then it will form the JPC as demanded by majority of members in Parliament.”
Terming the opposition behaviour as “irresponsible”, Mr. Ahmed said, “Government has made it clear that there is a Public Accounts Committee and it is a constitutional provision that the CAG report will go to PAC.
“So how come the government will ignore constitutional provisions,” he asked, and added, “First let the CAG report go to the PAC and examined by it.”
Since the PAC chairman is a BJP leader, “we are unable to understand why opposition does not believe in his neutrality and his capability,” Mr. Ahmed said.