Rohit Kumar's Views

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Indian parties fail to end Parliament deadlock

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NEW DELHI – India’s ruling party on Monday called an all-party meeting to try to break a deadlock which has seen opposition lawmakers repeatedly halt parliament over allegations of massive corruption.

India’s ruling party has called an all-party meeting to try to break a parliamentary deadlock

Parliament was again adjourned for the day as the opposition disrupted proceedings to demand a cross-party investigation into the 2008 sale of 2G telecom licences for a fraction of their value.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has denied accusations that he failed to act over the multi-billion-dollar scandal and has vowed to punish anyone found guilty of graft.

But Singh’s Congress-led government has refused to agree to the joint parliamentary probe, saying a separate inquiry was already under way.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee invited leaders of all parties to the meeting in an attempt to allow parliamentary business — including passing economic reforms — to resume, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told AFP.

India’s chief auditing body declared last week that the sale of the 2G telecom licences by the then telecoms minister A. Raja lost the country up to 40 billion dollars.

The Comptroller and Auditor General said that the allocation of licences at discount rates to select firms was done in an “arbitrary, unfair and inequitable manner”.