The second leg of the Budget session will begin today, with the government asserting that its priority is to pass the Finance Bill and the Opposition planning to raise issues like the action of Central agencies against the BJP’s political rivals and allegations against the Adani group.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that they want to play a constructive role in making the government accountable and sought a discussion in the House on “every burning issue facing the nation”.
At a meeting held on Sunday, Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar sought views of the leaders of various political parties on ways to curb disruptions in the House. Opposition members raised the issue of alleged misuse of central agencies against non-BJP governments and the move to appoint Mr Dhankhar’s personal staff on parliamentary committees.
The opposition parties will meet in the morning to evolve their strategy for both Houses of Parliament. Protests on the Hindenburg-Adani row had overshadowed the first half of the Budget session.
Manickam Tagore, Congress Whip in Lok Sabha, told PTI that his party wants the Opposition to take a united stand.
“We will continue to raise people’s issues — price rise, LPG cost, Adani, misuse of agencies, farmers issues, Governors’ intervention. We will continue to work with all like-minded parties. Tomorrow’s meeting is called for the purpose as we want the Opposition to be united,” he said.
The opposition parties are also likely to vociferously raise the issue of recent raids by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate against their leaders, some of whom were questioned and even arrested in various cases. They have accused the BJP-led Central government of misusing the central agencies to target leaders of the BJP’s rival parties.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjunram Meghwal told PTI on Sunday that the topmost priority for the government is the passage of the Financial Bill. Discussions will be held on demands for grants of ministries including Railways, Panchayati Raj, Tourism, Culture and Health, he said.
The budget session, which started on January 31, is likely to conclude on April 6. Parliament is meeting after a month-long recess which allows various parliamentary panels to scrutinise allocations made in the Union Budget for different ministries.
On Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Supplementary Demands for Grants – Second Batch for 2022-23. She will also table the budget for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2023-24 in Lok Sabha. The Union Territory is at present under the Central rule. The two items are listed in the order paper of Lok Sabha.
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