opposition stalls parliament, but split over Yeddyurappa
Tuesday November 23, 2010 07:59:36 PM,
A united opposition saw parliament paralysed for the eighth day
Tuesday over the demand for a parliamentary probe into allocation
of 2G airwaves, but outside the house the knives were out as the
Left attacked the BJP over its "double standards" on removing land
scam-hit Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
A day after Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee's all-party meeting
to resolve the parliament impasse failed, both the ruling United
Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the rival National Democratic
Alliance (NDA) stuck to their guns on the Joint Parliamentary
Parliament was adjourned without transacting any business for the
eighth successive day Tuesday. Very little business has been
transacted in the winter session which began Nov 9, with the
houses adjourned for eight straight days, out of the nine working
Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed told reporters that "as of
today, there is no need of a JPC over the 2G spectrum issue."
On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson
Prakash Javdekar said that an "unprecedented unity was visible in
the entire opposition over the JPC demand". "It is not just the
BJP or the NDA, but the Left parties and AIADMK and other parties
are all for the JPC probe," he added.
However, outside parliament, differences among the opposition
surfaced over the allegations that BJP Chief Minister Yeddyurappa
had allotted plots to his close relatives in his "discretionary
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat told
reporters that the BJP's indifference to the demand for removal of
Yeddyurappa was proving its "double standards".
"It raises the fundamental question of the BJP's honesty in
fighting corruption," she told reporters.
The Congress lost no time in capitalising on the fissures in the
Party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters that the
BJP's stand on Karnataka exposed its double-standards.
"Why is the BJP, which is so eloquent over the spectrum issue,
silent on the corruption charges against the Karnataka chief
minister?" She asked.
The chief minister, who is in the capital to meet party president
Nitin Gadkari, has ordered a judicial probe into the allotment of
lands by various chief ministers in the past 10 years. His kin,
including his two sons, have surrendered the plots allotted to
Sources said that though several BJP leaders want Yeddyurappa to
resign to save the BJP's image and give it a comfortable position
to battle the Congress on corruption issues, he was not yielding
for the time being.
In parliament, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha saw the first
adjournment as soon as the houses met at 11 a.m.
Opposition members, including from the BJP and its allies, the
Left parties, the Samajwadi Party and the AIADMK shouted slogans
in both the houses for a JPC and asked Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh for a clarification.
In the Rajya Sabha, ruling party members were also on their feet
displaying placards demanding action against the "Bellary
brothers" of Karnataka. The Bellary brothers, mining barons
Janardhana Reddy and Karunakaran Reddy who are state ministers,
are alleged to be involved in illegal mining activities.
Parliament's winter session has witnessed repeated adjournments
over the opposition's insistence on a JPC probe into the 2G
spectrum scam, even after Andimuthu Raja, who was at the heart of
the controversy, resigned as the communications and IT minister.
A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG),
tabled in parliament Nov 16, said that the award of 2G spectrum
during Raja's tenure in 2008 had resulted in a notional loss of
thousands of crores to the exchequer.
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