New Delhi: The Land Acquisition Ordinance has emerged as the Centre’s biggest headache on the eve of the Budget session of Parliament, which begins on Monday.
The ordinance has run into opposition not only from political opponents but also from within the Sangh Parivar. While social activist Anna Hazare, supported by the Left parties and a group of NGOs, will protest in Delhi on Tuesday, the Congress has dubbed the law “anti-people” and announced its own agitation programme for Wednesday.
This, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance of discussing every issue raised by the Opposition. “All the issues raised by the Opposition will be discussed keeping in view their importance and priority,” Modi told a meeting of political parties convened by the government on the eve of the Budget session of Parliament.
While Modi urged cooperation for the benefit of the common man, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the government was willing to walk the extra mile to accommodate the Opposition’s concerns.
Modi also made a strong plea for ensuring smooth functioning of Parliament, saying the Budget session is very crucial and people look forward to it with lots of hope and aspiration. The session will conclude on May 8, with a month-long recess between March 20 and April 20 to examine the Budget proposals.
Opposition leaders have also demanded discussion during the session on a range of issues such as minimum support price, swine flu, the agrarian crisis, the Indo-Pak border issue, safety and security of women, corporate espionage, communal harmony, a free academic environment, passing on the benefit of declining international oil prices to the public, development of the North-East, and reservation for women in the legislature.
In an apparent bid to blunt the Congress and the Left’s “stalling tactics” in Parliament, Naidu highlighted the demands made by a section of Opposition leaders for smooth session. BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said there was undue focus on the Ordinances in the media when it should have been on the Budget and economic issues.
“The Budget Session is important, and we need to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament,” NCP chief Sharad Pawar said at Sunday’s meeting.
The government has lined up 44 agenda items for the three-month-long Budget Session, including the financial business that involves presentation of and discussion on the General and Railway Budgets.
Besides the Finance Bill and the six Ordinances, top on the government agenda is seeking nod to the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, relating to introduction of GST, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other Related Law (Amendment) Bill and the Repealing and Amending Bill.
Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha include the Companies (Amendment) Bill, the Public Premises Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants (Amendment) Bill, the Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, and the Payments and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill. Other pending Bills are the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill.
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