New Delhi: The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which began on Monday, is expected to be stormy with the Opposition raring to have a go at the government on a host of issues ranging from corruption and price rise to Telangana and terrorism.
It could be trouble for the government from the word go with so many issues stacked up against it like never before in the recent past and the 2G spectrum scam providing fodder to the Opposition. The Monsoon Session is scheduled for five weeks.
Mumbai serial blasts, Maoist violence, black money stashed abroad, Telangana, land acquisition and farmers` rights are some of the important issues that the Opposition plans to raise, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till tomorrow after obituary references. The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned, first briefly and then for the day, after opposition uproar on issues like 2G scam.
Earlier this morning, while speaking to reporters Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Government is prepared for a
structured debate on any issue raised by the Opposition.”
He also appealed to Opposition to help jointly tackle issues facing the nation during Parliament Session.
The BJP has been gunning for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram in the wake of former telecom minister A Raja`s allegations against them in the 2G case.
Opposition parties like the AIADMK have also demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister as also Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Raja`s charges in 2G spectrum scam of "Himalayan proportions".
A senior party leader, who declined to be identified, admitted that matters could be tough for the Congress-led UPA coalition if the Opposition presses for a motion that entails voting on issues like price rise and corruption.
Attempting to blunt the Opposition’s attack, the PM said, “There are some matters which are in already in courts. I sincerely hope that matters which are in the court should be left to the court.”
There is a growing realisation in the ruling party about the Left and the Right making common cause on these issues.
Amid the Opposition heat, the Yeddyurappa issue appears to have come as a godsend opportunity for the Congress. The ruling party is expected to counter the BJP on the issue of corruption by pointing fingers at the illegal mining scam in Karnataka.
A tussle between the government and the Opposition over the much-talked about Lokpal Bill could take place with plans afoot for its introduction in Lok Sabha by August 3.
There has been no unanimity in the ruling UPA over the issue of keeping the Prime Minister out of the ambit of the anti-corruption watchdog.
Many opposition parties, including the BJP, are also favouring keeping the Prime Minister under the purview of the Lokpal. The BJP has decided not to oppose introduction of the Lokpal Bill despite having major differences with the government`s draft.
In the midst of the session, Anna Hazare`s indefinite fast on the Lokpal issue is scheduled to start on August 16 and is bound to have its repercussions in Parliament.
Issues like FDI in retail and farmers` agitation on land acquisition could see the Left and the Right making a common cause in Parliament.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has expressed government`s readiness to discuss any issue and has appealed to the Opposition to cooperate in the smooth running of the session that will have 26 sittings. The session will conclude on September 8.
The Lok Sabha will adjourn on the opening day soon after paying homage to the sitting member and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal who died recently.
With the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh appearing close, the Samajwadi Party will utilise the session to demand dismissal of the "dictatorial and corrupt" Mayawati government in the wake of a series of scam, including the one in health sector and rising crime graph.
SP leader Mohan Singh said his party plans to raise the sorry state of affairs in the education sector in the wake of "failure" of the government to move ahead on several issues, including closure of deemed universities.
The plight of Air India and killing/ arrest of Indian fishermen are issues that are also expected to be raised.
As many as 35 bills, including the Women`s Reservation Bill, have been listed for consideration and passage in the session.
Besides the Lokpal Bill, the other prominent bills for introduction included the National Food Security Bill, a bill related to land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement and the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill.
With PTI inputs