Monday, February 21, 2011

Budget session begins today, BJP ready to attack


New Delhi:  The government has been hoping for a smoother Parliament session than the last after giving in to the Opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) inquiry into the 2G spectrum scam, but an aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party has upped the ante. It is all set to confront Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the floor of the House. The Budget session begins today. 
 
Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said that the Budget session would be a "session of accountability".
 
Speaking on the slew of corruption charges and scams, especially the 2G spectrum scam, that have cornered the UPA government, Jaitley said the Prime Minister and his government had a lot of questions to answer.  "What was the Prime Minister doing for the last three years when this huge case of corruption was on?" Jaitley asked.
 
He said a mere statement from the Prime Minister would not do and severely criticised Manmohan Singh for saying that the decision to appoint A Raja as Telecom Minister was forced on him by the compulsions of coalition politics.


"Where is the principle of collective responsibility? Is this a leader of the team which runs away from the battlefield and says, well, 'I did not make him a minister...I did not allocate the portfolio...somebody else compelled me to do that under compulsion'...?" Jaitley said.
 
The BJP's stinging attack on the government follows the Prime Minister's statement on Sunday expressing hope of a "peaceful, productive" Budget session after the all-party meet convened by the Speaker, where it the Centre agreed to the demand for a JPC on the 2G spectrum scam.
 
"We are looking forward to a fruitful and productive session of Parliament. The government on its part is ready to discuss any issue which may be brought by the Opposition. So I am hopeful this will be a peaceful productive session. Lot of legislative work has to be accomplished...the Budget of the Central government has to be passed and this therefore is truly the most important session of Parliament," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after the all-party meet.
 
The government's no to a JPC inquiry into the 2G spectrum scam had led to a complete paralysis of Parliament in the Winter session, with less than 10 hours of business being conducted.

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