Parliament sees longest logjam in its history

The 2010 winter session of Parliament is set to be lost to the logjam over the demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam, making it the first time that an entire session has been lost to the confrontation between the government and the opposition. The longest stalemate in Parliament had been over Bofors and the telecom row during Sukh Ram’s tenure. But on Thursday, as Parliament failed to take up question hour for the
20th day running, it was dubbed the biggest such strike. Even as the leaders are readying to say goodbye to the winter session on Monday, there are fears that the confrontation could spill over to the Budget session. As the important session would be held close to the elections in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Assam, there are fears that the opposition could try to test the Centre’s resolve on not accepting the JPC by threatening to make corruption an issue. There are concerns in the Congress about the possibility. The Left Front, which has stakes in two key states, and the AIADMK, that has the TN battle at hand, are part of a joint opposition that has brought Parliament to a standstill. With just two days to go, both the Congress and the opposition lamented the time lost, but passed the buck. CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta said the session had fallen to the Congress-led UPA’s obduracy in not accepting a “simple demand” for JPC to probe the 2G scam lest skeletons tumbled out of its cupboard. The Congress said the CAG report was to be probed by the PAC and the JPC demand was political in nature.

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