Opposition gears up to corner government during budget session


New Delhi: The Budget session of Parliament, beginning Friday, is set to be stormy as the opposition parties plan to take on the government on issues, like the economic slowdown and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that is facing countrywide protests.

The opposition parties are also putting up a united front against the Narendra Modi government on issues, such as the National Population Register (NPR) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), which has also seen violent protests in the various parts of the country.

The opposition will try and pressurise the government to ‘roll back’ the CAA. The law and order issue in the country will also be raised during the Budget session, the third of 17th Lok Sabha.

To set the tone, the opposition led by the Congress, staged a protest at Mahatma Gandhi statue on Parliament campus before President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament at 11.00am and the presentation of the Economic Survey.

The House will meet in two phases – from January 31 to February 11, and March 2 to April 3. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her second Union Budget February 1 and may attempt to reverse the economic slowdown that has gripped India, Asia’s third-largest economy.

At the all-party meeting Thursday, 26 opposition parties took part. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Ministers, Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad and Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, as well as representatives of other parties attended the meeting.

Chairing the all-party meet, the Prime Minister said the government was ready to debate all issues. “We welcome suggestions from everyone in perspective of present global situation and how India can take advantage of it,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said after the meeting.

The House may take up over 20 pending bills, which were listed in the winter session. The Personal Data Protection Bill is among the key Bills to be taken up in this session. The Bill was January 23 referred to a joint parliamentary committee under the chairmanship of Meenakashi Lekhi for examination.

The government is likely to come up with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 for expanding access of women to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarian or social grounds.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, the Central Sanskrit University Bill, the Code on Social Security, the Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, the Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, the Industrial Relations Code Bill, the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, and the Occupational Safety and Health and Working Conditions Code are also likely to be introduced in this session.




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