JNU row, Rohith Vemula death to dominate Budget session of Parliament

New Delhi :The Budget session of Parliament is set to start on a stormy note on Tuesday with issues like the JNU row, Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide and Pathankot terror strike set to dominate the proceedings despite efforts to broker peace between the opposition and the government.

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 tomorrow to reach out to political rivals for smooth functioning of Parliament.

The same day, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan 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. At the Monday meeting, Congress will finalize its floor strategy for the session.

Chairing a meeting of leaders of all parties from Rajya Sabha, Chairman Hamid Ansari yesterday 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.

Naidu had also held a meeting of leaders of a number of opposition parties on February 4 where it was decided to have a full-length session and not to go for any curtailment of its duration despite assembly elections in five states.

The government has a heavy legislative agenda to push through in this session. 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.