Budget session: Govt. seeks co-operation, Opposition parties ready to corner Centre
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the last full-fledged Union Budget of Modi govt before the 2024 LS elections on Feb. 1
New Delhi: On the eve of Parliament’s Budget Session, the government made it clear it was willing to discuss all issues under the laid-down rules and sought cooperation from the Opposition parties for the smooth functioning of both Houses.
The first day of the Budget Session, which starts on Tuesday, will begin with the maiden address of President Droupadi Murmu to a joint sitting of both Houses. The Economic Survey will be tabled after the presidential address. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the last full-fledged Union Budget of the Narendra Modi government before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on February 1. The first part of the session will conclude on February 14. Parliament will reconvene on March 12 for the second part of the Budget Session.
Seeking the cooperation of all parties at the all-party meeting today, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said: “We seek the Opposition’s cooperation in running the proceedings smoothly.”
Even as the government has sought their cooperation, the Opposition parties are gearing up to corner the Centre on issues ranging from the caste-based census, women’s reservation, unemployment, price rise, and the conduct of governors in Opposition party-ruled states, among other issues. Sources said the K. Chandrashekhar Rao-led BRS was apparently reaching out to the Opposition parties for boycotting the President’s address.
The Congress, however, went unrepresented as all the top leaders were busy with the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar. Congress floor leaders are expected to meet the parliamentary affairs minister on Tuesday before the House commences.
During the all-party meeting, the BRS and the DMK raised the conduct of governors in Opposition-ruled states. The YSR Congress, meanwhile, demanded a nationwide caste-based economic census. The YSR Congress felt that it was important to know the economic status of backward castes which are “lagging behind” across the country.
YSR Congress leader Vijaysai Reddy said the backward castes are over 50 per cent of the country’s total population and the census “will help track their economic status”. Besides the YSR Congress, the JD(U) and RJD have also demanded a caste census. The YSR Congress also demanded passage of the women’s quota bill. The TMC and the BJD also supported the demand.