LIVE: The Budget Session 2021 of Parliament will be held in two parts starting today. The first part is scheduled to conclude on February 15 while the second part will commence on March 8.
Parliament LIVE: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that 16 opposition parties have jointly decided to boycott the President Ram Nath Kovind's Budget Session address. (PIB)
Budget Session President’s Address Live: The Budget Session of Parliament today kicked off with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address. Addressing the joint session, President Kovind said that the government is vigilant and committed towards nation’s security. He said that nation is indebted to Galvan valley martyrs. The president said that the government has shown over the period of six years that transformation is possible if intention is right and will-power is strong. President Kovind said that this session is important as India enters 75th year of its independence. President Kovind said that the government is committed towards farmers welfare. He highlighted various steps taken by the government for welfare of underprivileged, farmers and rural population. Addressing media outside Parliament, PM Narendra Modi said that the day marks the commencement of the first Session of this decade. He said that this decade is very important for the bright future of India. The PM added that a golden opportunity has come before the nation to fulfil the dreams seen by the freedom fighters. “This decade should be fully utilised. Keeping this in mind, there should be discussions in this session focussing on the decade – this is expected by the nation. I believe that we will not lag behind in making our contribution for the fulfilment of people’s aspiration,” said PM Modi. The session is being held in two parts this year due to COVID-19 pandemic. As per tradition, the President addresses the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session every year. Last year as well, President Ram Nath Kovind had addressed the joint sitting of Parliament from the Central Hall. The President’s speech generally highlights the government’s plan and policy vision for the next financial year. The president’s speech also highlights the work carried out by the government in past years.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that 16 opposition parties have jointly decided to boycott the president’s address over the manner in which the three farm laws were passed. They have also demanded an independent probe into the Centre’s role in the violence that shook the national capital during the farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day. Meanwhile, BJP has slammed opposition parties for their decision accusing them of constitutional and moral bankruptcy. The first part of the Budget Session is scheduled to conclude on February 15 while the second part will commence on March 8. It is expected to end on April 8. Given the COVID-19 outbreak, Parliament will sit in two shifts. Morning session is dedicated to Rajya Sabha while Lok Sabha will sit in the evening. The operating hours for Rajya Sabha will be from 9 am to 2 pm. On the other hand, Lok Sabha will function from 4pm to 8pm.
Opposition parties also alleged that the farm bills were brought without any consultations with the states and farmer unions, and lacked national consensus. They claimed that parliamentary scrutiny was bypassed and the laws were pushed through muzzling the Opposition, in brazen violation of parliamentary rules, practices and conventions. The very constitutional validity of these laws remains in question.