Stage set for stormy Budget Session as 2nd leg resumes today

| Updated: 13 March, 2023 11:46 am IST

The second leg of the Budget Session will begin on Monday amid the possibility of a fresh round of showdown between opposition parties and the BJP government. A stormy session is expected with the opposition parties gearing up to continue to corner the government on issues such as alleged misuse of probe agencies to target their leaders, allegations against the Adani Group, border standoff with China, price rise, and unemployment.

The ruling BJP on its part is expected to rake up the issue of negative remarks against Indian democracy made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his UK visit, attacking Indian democracy on several occasions. BJP is also expected to highlight its winning streak in the Northeast.

The second leg will see a total of 17 sittings and will continue till April 6. As per records, a total of 35 bills are pending in both Houses. 26 bills are currently pending in the Rajya Sabha, and close to 9 in the Lok Sabha for passage.

As the Budget session of Parliament resumes the opposition is preparing to corner the union government on various issues, including Hindenburg’s report on Adani, inflation and a hike in petroleum product prices, and growing unemployment.

On the first day of the session, Congress President & LoP Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge chaired a meeting of Congress MPs at the Congress Parliament Party office in Parliament. MPs Sonia Gandhi and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were present among others at the meeting.

The Congress continues to demand a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the allegations related to the Adani Group.

Meanwhile, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman, Jagdeep Dhankhar chaired a meeting of party leaders in Rajya Sabha ahead of the forthcoming second part of the Budget Session at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas on Sunday where Deputy Chairman Harivansh (Deputy Chairman), Piyush Goyal (Leader of the House), Birendra Prasad Baishya, Jairam Ramesh, Jose K. Mani, Sanjay Raut, Binoy Viswam, Sanjay Singh, V. Vijaysai Reddy, Dr. K Keshava Rao, Elamaram Kareem, Ram Nath Thakur, Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, Rwngwara Narzary were present.

As per the sources, Vice-President Dhankhar sought views of leaders of various political parties on ways to curb disruptions in the House and mainly flagged the issue of whether disruptions can be allowed and if members can have a ‘free fall of information’ in the name of free speech in the House as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution.

Further Chairman Dhankhar sought cooperation from party leaders for the smooth running of Parliament, the Opposition demanded that the Chair should allow discussion on issues of national importance.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge who also met Dhankar on Sunday said in a tweet, “During the meeting, the Chairman also sought cooperation from all parties for the smooth running of Parliament.”

The first part of the Budget session, which concluded on February 13, witnessed continuous disruption and ruckus over the Opposition members’ demand for an independent inquiry on the Hindenburg Research report which accused the Adani group of stock manipulation and fraud. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha did not see any business due to the Opposition’s protests over the Adani issue.

Of the 9 Bills pending in the Lok Sabha, two Bills had been referred to Standing Committee. Three Bills are listed where parliament has already received reports from Standing Committees. Amongst the bills pending in the Rajya Sabha, three bills have already been passed by Lok Sabha, four bills haven’t been referred to any parliamentary scrutiny and are pending passage, and a number of bills pending with Rajya Sabha have been cleared by parliament scrutiny of Standing Committee and for which reports have already been tabled.

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