New Delhi: As the government prepares to
face the opposition in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Monday exuded confidence that the UPA has "all the
numbers" that are needed to tackle issues.
"I think pressure is part of parliamentary life. We are
willing to discuss and debate all issues on the floor of
Parliament," he said ahead of the start of the Budget Session.
"I am confident that we have all the numbers that are
needed," the Prime Minister asserted.
Singh appealed to all political parties to work together
in the spirit of cooperation and meet the enormous challenges and opportunities that the country faces.
The Budget session portends a tough time for the
government against the backdrop of reverses the Congress
suffered at the Assembly elections and the possibility of
issues like federalism bringing unlikely forces together.
The Congress heading the UPA may not be in a position to
take even the allies for granted with a key coalition
constituent Trinamool making it clear it was against a cut in
fertiliser subsidy and rise in petroleum prices. Trinamool
supremo Mamata Banerjee has also joined non-Congress chief ministers in opposing the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
With Congress under pressure in the wake of its debacle
in the Assembly polls, Opposition leaders have hinted that the session would see floor coordination between allies of
Congress, its supporting parties and the opposition on the
issue of federalism.
The Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi face
an unenviable task in the three-month long session
which will commence with President Pratibha Patil`s
customary address to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and
the Rajya Sabha.