Budget Session to begin today

Budget Session to begin today

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan during a meeting with leaders of various political parties ahead of the budget session at Parliament House, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (PTI Photo)

All eyes will be on Parliament from Thursday with Budget session kicking off amid anticipation of the Narendra Modi government doling out promises ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Budget session will witness political rhetoric ahead of the elections with the BJP and a united Opposition expected to lock horns over every issue on the table. The session is expected to set the tone for the campaign.

The session will start with the customary address of President Ram Nath Kovind to the joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha where his speech is expected to provide a clue to the Modi government's election plank.

A day later on Friday, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will present the "interim budget", a keenly awaited speech which again could provide the intent of the government.

During the session, the BJP-led NDA government is likely to once again push for the passage of controversial Triple Talaq Bill and the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, which are opposed tooth and nail by the Opposition.

The BJP is expected to raise the Hindutva pitch in the election campaign and are likely to use these bills as well as Ram Temple issue.

The Opposition is seeking to put the government on the mat over agrarian distress, unemployment and corruption. The Congress is expected to once again bring Rafale back on track while some of the Opposition parties are keen to bring to fore the issue of suspected rigging of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

While Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called a meeting of floor leaders of all parties in the Lower House, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu is meeting floor leaders on Thursday morning to ensure smooth functioning of the House. The government also has called an all-party meeting on Thursday afternoon.

After the meeting, Mahajan said all parties have assured their cooperation in smooth functioning of the house and urged the members to raise issues of national importance.

Trinamool Congress Leader of Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay told reporters that unemployment and farmers' distress must be given priority for discussions.