Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let Parliament function!

Pressing its demand for instituting a Joint Parliamentary Committee for looking into the 2G spectrum and Commonwealth Games scams the opposition has not allowed Parliament to work for the last three weeks. Both the ruling alliance and the opposition are sticking to their positions on either side of the JPC divide and there seems to be no way an agreement could be reached between the two. It was widely reported by the electronic and print media that as a reconciliation gesture to the opposition, the government could get the tainted chief vigilance commissioner P.J. Thomas to resign before next Monday's hearing of a Public Interest Litigation petition against his appointment. But since that has not happened, in all likelihood the impasse in Parliament will continue. The situation is unfortunate because Parliament is not able to exercise its Constitutional oversight of the executive. Expenditure of more than forty thousand crore has been passed without debate, and more of this will follow.

The opposition has been successful in drawing the nation's attention to an unprecedented level of corruption prevalent in the Central government, now it is time that it attended Parliament and accepted the government's offer of unrestricted debate on all scams that have rocked the country recently. The Public Accounts Committee, a smaller and milder form of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, in any case, is already discussing the Comptroller and Auditor General's comprehensive report on the 2G spectrum scam.

If, on the other hand, the opposition did not come down from its high horse the winter session would be over without Parliament conducting any business.

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