Showdown expected in Lok Sabha over Uttarakhand

As Lok Sabha gets under way on Monday, one expects a war of words between the ruling BJp and the Congress over the Uttarakhand and and host of other issues. Setting the stage for a stormy week in parliament

Showdown expected in Lok Sabha over Uttarakhand

A confrontation between the Congress and the ruling BJP is expected in the Lok Sabha on Monday as the house is scheduled to take up discussion on the Uttarakhand budget for 2016-17, a day ahead of the floor test in the assembly.

The government's agenda for the next week, which is also the last week of the second budget session of parliament, includes passage of the anti-hijacking Bill, Indian trusts (amendment) bill and child labour amendment bill.

The discussion on the Uttarakhand budget and passing of the Uttarakhand Appropriation (vote on account) bill, 2016 to replace the ordinance, has been listed by the government in the Lok Sabha for Monday, with the crucial floor test in the assembly set for Tuesday.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told IANS that the government's move to take up discussion on the Uttarakhand budget for 2016-17 on Monday was "unconstitutional".

"The government should await the result of the floor test," Tewari said, adding that the government was trying to cover up its mistakes.

Congress has been at loggerheads with the government over the imposition of President's Rule in the state, where Congress chief minister Harish Rawat was in power till March 27.

President's rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on March 27. It was lifted following an Uttarakhand High Court order on April 21 but was reimposed by the Supreme Court a day later.

The apex court on Friday cleared the decks for Uttarakhand's ousted chief minister Harish Rawat to prove his majority in the assembly on Tuesday. It ordered that President's Rule in the hill state will be kept in abeyance from 10.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the house to conduct its proceedings.

The parliament session was prorogued after the first half of the budget session, which enabled the government to pass an ordinance for the state budget. The new session began on April 25 and is scheduled to end on May 13. The budget session of parliament had begun on February 23.

A release by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will move a motion to enable discussion on the Uttarakhand budget on Monday. The budget will also be laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha on Monday and the upper house will take this up for consideration and returning to Lok Sabha later, the release said.

The Lok Sabha will resume the inconclusive discussion on the drought situation in the country next week besides taking up the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016 as passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The release said the Rajya Sabha will take up the Appropriation (Railways) No.2 Bill, 2016, the Finance Bill,2016. The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill,2015, earlier passed by the Lok Sabha, has been listed for Monday. Discussion on working of the Ministry of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises is also scheduled to be taken up in the Upper House.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill,2012 and the Rajendra Central University Bill,2015 are on the legislative agenda of the government, which would first be taken up in the Rajya Sabha and then in the Lok Sabha.

During the first two weeks of the second budget session, the Lok Sabha passed six bills including the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015, the Railways Appropriation Bill and Finance Bill. The lower house also discussed the demands for grants of six ministries including social justice and empowerment.

The Rajya Sabha has so far passed seven bills in the session including the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill,2015. It also discussed the working of the health ministry and the human resource development ministry.

The two houses had earlier this week witnessed feisty debates on the alleged irregularities in the procurement of AugustaWestland helicopters.

Some of the significant bills on the government's agenda at the beginning of the session including the Goods and Services Tax bill are unlikely to be taken up. (IANS)