#BudgetSession Begins: Will Congress’ LoP Dream Shatter?

Mahajan had assured that a decision will be taken before the beginning of the budget session. Till now there has been no sign from the speaker on the issue.

The Budget session of the Parliament begins today. With the beginning of the session, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government faces its first test where the Opposition is expected the raise its voice on the issue of price rise and rail fare hike.

Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan had called an all party meeting on Saturday where she had talked about the smooth running of the session. She told reporters after the meeting:

“The session will have 28 sittings and 168 working hours. Since the Standing Committees for various ministries are yet to be constituted, the demands for grants for various ministries will be passed by both Houses by July 31 after discussion in Parliament instead of the committees.

Government is willing to give full time to discuss any issue. They are ready to discuss every issue. Different suggestions have come and they will be decided after the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee.”

The picture of the member speaking in the Parliament will also be shown on a big screen so that all the members can see him/her clearly.

According to The Hindu, as per the business listed for Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh would introduce a Bill to amend the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act to replace the Ordinance promulgated to transfer some villages from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh. The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in the new State had firmly opposed the move and plans to protest when the Bill is moved.

In the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman will introduce The National Institute of Design Bill, 2013 to make it an institution of national importance for promotion of quality and excellence in education.

The session will conclude on 14 August.

Interestingly, Mahajan did not answer any question on the issue of granting Leader of Opposition status to the Congress, saying the meeting she had convened was to discuss the business before the House.

Whether the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, is eligible for the LoP status as his party does not have one-tenth of the strength in a House of 545 members, is a problem expected to be resolved today. The Congress has only 44 members.

Maintaining that the post of LoP in Lok Sabha is the “right of Congress”, the party had in the past expressed confidence that Speaker Mahajan would take a decision in their favour.

The old loyalist of the party Digvijay Singh has been meticulously defending his party which is standing only because it has more number of sycophants than leaders. Singh appeared in the same patronizing avatar issuing statement on the issue on Friday. He said that “To hold LoP position 55 seats are required so the law needs to be amended.”

Similarly, a senior leader told The Telegraph, “There is no way this injustice will be accepted by us as the legal position is crystal clear. We are aware how the BJP leaders are trying to create confusion about the issue but we will be forced to take the matter to the Supreme Court if injustice is done in Parliament.”

Amid all this, Times of India reported: The Congress is mulling the option of moving court if it is denied the post of leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, a possibility that may up its confrontation with the ruling BJP. Sources said there is a strong section within pushing for a legal battle, stating that the party has a strong case to test the Modi government.

However, Singh’s colleague and the former Union Minister Sachin Pilot has argued that not having one LoP in the Lok Sabha would not do justice to the world’s largest democracy.

“There is no law, just a Speaker’s ruling. It also depends on whether you want to have a real Opposition or not. Forget about the perks and emoluments that you get as Leader of the Opposition… that can be taken away… but there must be a semblance of balance in Parliament,” he told the PTI.

Former union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad too had said that Congress “must” be given “it’s right” of LoP as it is the only national party other than ruling BJP in the house.

Mahajan had assured that a decision will be taken before the beginning of the budget session. Till now there has been no sign from the speaker on the issue.

Will Congress’ LoP dream shatter today?

Article Categories:
News Analysis

Don't Miss! random posts ..