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CPI general secretary A B Bardhan has reiterated the opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation issue.

He said such an important issue could only be properly probed by a JPC. If the Prime Minister and the Congress accept this reasonable demand, then the deadlock in Parliament would be over in no time.

The CPI leader said it appears ironical that the Prime Minister is ready to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Lok Sabha but not before the JPC. “PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi should not consider the PM’s letter offering to appear before the panel,” he said, adding that even the BJP, to which Joshi belongs, has turned down the PM’s offer.

“There is no instance of a Union minister or a Prime Minister appearing before the PAC earlier. The CBI, the income-tax department and the PAC, which are all independent bodies, are looking into the 2G spectrum allocation issue. So could the JPC,” Bardhan said.

The CPI leader was here to attend a two-day meeting of the state council of the party.

Referring to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee‘s offer to hold a special session of the Parliament to discuss the 2G spectrum issue, Bardhan said this meeting should instead be called to discuss the issue of soaring prices. Petrol prices have been raised six times in the past one year, he pointed out. Prices of sugar are likely to go up soon.

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