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Parliament's Budget Session likely to be a tumultous affair

Feb 17 2013, 17:59 IST
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SummaryIssues include chopper deal, corruption, inflation, women's safety, rail price hike etc.

With the Opposition poised to attack the government on a host of issue including the VVIP chopper deal, the three-month long Budget Session of Parliament beginning this week is expected to be a tumultous affair.

The Left and the Right have been aggressive on a host of issues including the chopper deal and “the plate is full” as an Opposition leader put it.

The other issues include corruption, inflation and other economic issues with the central trade unions, including Congress-affiliated INTUC, already giving a strike call on February 20-21 on the government's “inaction" on the issue of price rise and alleged violation of labour laws”.

The Opposition is also expected to raise matters like safety of women, killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control, increase in prices of diesel and petrol, hike in rail fare, the issue of separate Telangana and the alleged farm loan waiver scam.

The Budget Session begins Thursday with the address of President Pranab Mukherjee to the joint sitting of Parliament. The Railway Budget is scheduled to be presented on February 26, and the economic survey will be tabled the next day.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram will present the General Budget on February 28.

A meeting of the BJP parliamentary office bearers is scheduled on Tuesday which will soon be followed by a meeting of NDA to decide the strategy of the main Opposition and its allies, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said.

On the allegations of kickbacks in the purchase of 12 choppers for VVIPs, the government has already indicated that it was not averse to a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, a demand made by BJP and Shiv Sena.

CPI leader D Raja said the Congress-led UPA government was “neck deep” in corruption and “scams” were emerging one after the other.

“The recent one is the chopper deal scam. The CBI inquiry alone is not enough. The Prime Minister and the Defence Minister should own up the responsibility,” he said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has called a meeting of chief whips of the ruling UPA on Tuesday for coordination with political parties ahead of the Parliament session.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the government has nothing to hide in the purchase of choppers for ferrying VVIPs.

He said the government has taken prompt action in the matter after allegations of kickbacks surfaced in the media.

“The government is ready for discussion on all issues,” Shukla said.

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