CAA, economy, farm distress to dominate Budget session

CAA, economy, Kashmir, farm distress to dominate Budget Session

Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI Photo)

The ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR) and the economic slowdown appear set to dominate the two-month-long Budget Session of Parliament that begins on Friday.

On the eve of the Budget Session, opposition parties put the Modi government on notice over the anti-CAA protests, continued detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir and “incendiary” speeches by BJP leaders in the campaign for the Delhi assembly elections.

Opposition leaders put forth their demands to raise these issues during the Budget Session at a meeting convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi here on Thursday.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said opposition parties sought immediate release of former state chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who has been under house arrest since August last year, to enable his presence in Parliament during the Budget Session.

Azad also expressed concerns over the shorter duration of the sessions of Parliament and offered to support the legislative agenda of the government, if it was in the national interest.

DMK leader T R Baalu opposed the Centre's decision to allow drilling for hydrocarbons in the Cauvery delta contending that the project would affect farmers in the region.

Baalu wanted the Centre to cancel its approval for drilling of 341 wells in the delta region to hunt for hydrocarbon reserves.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma wanted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rein-in BJP leaders who he accused of making “incendiary” statements in the Delhi election campaign.

Opposition leaders are scheduled to meet after on Saturday after the presentation of Union Budget to plan a joint strategy for Parliament Session.

The Budget Session of Parliament begins on Friday with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Economic Survey, shortly after the President's address.

The Budget Session will have 31 sittings – nine in the first part and 22 in the second part – spread over 64 days. The first part of the Budget Session will be from January 31 to February 11, which will be followed by a three-week recess.

The second part of the Budget Session will begin on March 2 and continue till April 3.

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