In renewed efforts to break the impasse in Parliament over demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into 2G spectrum scam, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar who on Thursday met leaders of the ruling Congress and the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Thursday, sounded optimistic over Budget session that is scheduled to be held from second half of February 2011.
Ms. Kumar met Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, BJP veteran and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) chairman L K Advani, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal and his deputy V Narayansamy in yet another attempt to end the deadlock which she said was a ``cause for concern.’’
``Both sides are very keen that the next session of Parliament should run in order I am very, very optimistic on how the events will unfold,’’ the Lok Sabha Speaker later told journalists after the two-hour long meeting here. She is scheduled to meet leaders of non-BJP parties on Friday to discuss ways to end the stalemate in Parliament.
Almost entire winter session of Parliament ended without transacting any significant business as the standoff between the Opposition and the Government on the issue of JPC probe into the spectrum allocation forced repeated adjournments of both the Houses on a daily basis.
The Speaker said she was optimistic that despite their differing views, the Opposition and the ruling coalition would be able to find a common ground.
``I am fully convinced that our democracy is very mature. There might be some ups and downs but whether they are leaders of the ruling party or the ruling coalition or leaders of the opposition they all are very committed to ensuring that Parliament runs,’’ she said.
``With this kind of commitment and this kind of attitude, I am sure with their differing views they will be able to find a common ground and I am very optimistic that something positive will emerge,’’ Ms. Kumar added.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the party was firm on its demand for a JPC probe into the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation. ``BJP's position is that we are very clear and firm on a demand for a JPC,’’ she told reporters.
Last week Mr. Mukherjee had floated the idea of a special session to discuss the issue of JPC but the opposition was quick to reject it and instead wanted formation of a JPC.