NEW DELHI: The government-opposition standoff in Parliament showed no signs of resolution Thursday night with the Congress said to be averse to conceding the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G Spectrum scam.
After both the Houses of Parliament remained paralysed for the fifth day with Opposition insisting on the JPC, the Congress Core Group including the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and party chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi met to discuss the issue.
There was no official word on the meeting in which some participants expressed their views strongly against yielding to the Opposition demand. They felt that giving in to the demand for JPC was fraught with danger as it would lead to Opposition clamour for a similar probe on every issue.
Earlier in the day, the party had sent mixed signals that it could consider the demand favourably with a rider that the JPC terms of reference should include licencing from 1998 when the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance had come to power. "I don’t think that the party will agree to JPC demand," a senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said after the Core Group grappled with the issue at an hour-long meeting.
Senior minister and Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, who was to get back to the Opposition on the government’s stand on their demand, is yet to contact the leaders. The JPC has become the bone of contention between the government and Opposition which has paralysed Parliament for the last five days.
Newly-appointed Telecom Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal was present in the Core Group meeting, which was attended among others by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister, Mr A K Antony, Home Minister, Mr P Chidambaram and the Congress president’s political secretary, Mr Ahmed Patel.