Resumed budget session may generate heat for government
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The Congress may have averted some house trouble by asking Abhishek Manu Singhvi to step down from party and parliamentary posts over a sleaze video, but peace in parliament as it resumes Tuesday may still be a far cry with the opposition gunning for the government over key issues like Maoist insurgency, defence preparedness of the country and inflation.
The other issues likely to dominate the month-long second half of the budget include corruption and setting up of an anti-terror intelligence hub that has been stalled due to opposition even from government partners.
"We are definitely raising the issues like Maoism... There is a spurt in Maoist activities. We need a debate on this... There have been many questions on the defence preparedness," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley told reporters on the eve of the session Monday.
He was referring to a spree in abductions by Maoists, including the kidnapping of 32-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Alex Paul Menon who continues to be in rebel captivity.
Jaitley said the prime minister should explain in parliament about the defence preparedness of the nation in the wake of a leaked letter from Army Chief Gen Vikram Singh to the prime minister.
"Economic situation is serious. There is a policy paralysis. And in this situation, the governance is a very big casualty," the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said.
He said another "important issue" likely to be raised during the session is cotton export ban "that has affected cotton farmers and there have been suicides" demanding its revocation.
The government's main task in the second half would be to get the finance bill for fiscal 2012-13 passed by parliament. But the going seems tough with the opposition joining hands to corner the government.
In an indication that there would be some heat in the two houses, opposition leaders said they would raise the key issues, as well as other matters including the pending Lokpal bill during the month-long sitting.
"Price rise is definitely one of the top issues to be raised alongside the issue of agrarian crisis," Basudeb Acharia of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) told IANS.
Opposition parties are also likely to raise the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) whose formation has been deferred following opposition fears that the anti-terror agency with police powers will infringe on the rights of states.
During the session that will last till May 22, the government has planned to pass a slew of key legislations including the anti-graft Lokpal bill and the food security bill.
Among the other key bills pending in parliament are the legislations related to citizens' grievances redressal, higher education and research and companies bill.
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