With issues like the JNU row, Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s tragic suicide , Pathankot terror strikes high on the opposition agenda the government is preparing to face a rather heated Budget session as it gets under way on February 23. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with leaders of opposition parties on February 16, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will hold another all-party meeting to reach out to political rivals for smooth functioning of Parliament . The government is keen to avoid another washout like the Winter session of parliament.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, too will also hold consultations with leaders of all parties in the House. A meeting of the Congress Working Committee has been convened by party chief Sonia Gandhi on the eve of the session. The deliberations at the meeting is expected to set the tone for the Budget session.
Chairing a meeting of leaders of all parties from Rajya Sabha, Chairman Hamid Ansari reminded them “time has come to assure the public that parliamentary democracy does work and is sensitive to the needs of the people.”
The remarks come in the backdrop of last two sessions being a virtual washout with the opposition and government locking horns over a number of issues including the key reform measure of GST. The government has already said it is open to debating the JNU row in Parliament or any other issue that the opposition wants to take up.
A list of 74 items of business has been compiled by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on the basis of responses received from various ministries and departments which, according to sources, contain 62 legislative Items and 12 financial Items. It was decided to give 26 items ‘top priority’ as the ministries wanted them to be introduced and passed in the Budget session itself.